Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The TV Change

Have the local TV stations where you live been testing to see if you’re ready for the change to digital TV? We have cable and we had been told over and over by the cable company that we had nothing to worry about.

Well, several weeks ago one local TV station ran a test and when the switch was thrown, all we saw was a message telling us we needed to purchase a converter box. I totally freaked and immediately called the cable company….me and about every cable customer in the area. When I finally got to talk to a human at the cable company they told me that a mistake had been made and we definitely would not need a converter box.

A couple of weeks later the same local TV station ran another test. This time Mr. Pop and I just looked at each other. When they threw the switch this time, we didn’t see the message and our viewing was uninterrupted. Mr. Pop and I spontaneously irrupted in a cheer of , “We passed the test!” Funny how something as simple as that can get you all excited.

12 Comments:

Blogger Fixer said...

Oy, Christ, I'm so tired of the DTV bullshit on the local stations. If people don't get it by now (they've been harping on it for 6 months) they don't deserve to watch TV.

January 14, 2009 2:31 AM  
Blogger Distributorcap said...

i have been intimately involved in this

you have no idea what confusion is out there.

we did a test in NYC on monday - none of the cable companies made the mistake of airing the "test pattern" but we still (meaning i still go) tons of calls.

there is a good chance this switch will be delayed - but that wont stop the inevitable train wreck when it does

January 14, 2009 2:45 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Maybe this will be one time that I'm glad that we live so far out in the middle of nowhere that we get neither local nor cable service.

Wonder what the satellite companies will do with it?

January 14, 2009 3:24 AM  
Blogger Randal Graves said...

Let me know when they have a box that converts bad teevee into good.

Thank you thank you.

January 14, 2009 6:32 AM  
Blogger Dr. Know said...

The loss of the idiot box is to celebrated, not mourned. Egads, what a load of crap. 80 stations, 24 hours a day = 1-2 hours of barely watchable programming per day. I'd feel guilty for perpetuating this medium onto the masses for 30 years if it weren't for the fact that the southern GOP reduced profits from said adventure to nil - Damned diry apes, damn you all to hell.

We now return you to the regularly scheduled pablum.

January 14, 2009 7:35 AM  
Blogger Sewmouse said...

I'm taking Tuesday off work to watch the return of the Democratic Republic that is the United States from the brink of dictatorship.

(Good Goddess willing and the "Al Queda" don't rise)

That will be the first time since last year's Super Bowl that my television has been turned on.

I do not need a converter box. I won't get reception anymore, but I really don't need it... Q.E.D.

January 14, 2009 8:37 AM  
Blogger two crows said...

well, I disagree-- at least a little --
there is still SOME good tv out there.
like The West Wing, and various documentaries, and An Inconvenient Truth recently aired on PBS. I recorded it.

so, I've got cable and I'm kinda glad I do.

I WILL be glad when they stop all the dire warnings about what will happen if you don't have cable or a converter, tho.

January 14, 2009 12:44 PM  
Blogger Deb said...

I am so tired of those banners running on the bottom of the screen. And why must we convert anyway?

January 14, 2009 1:25 PM  
Blogger Targa said...

Deb,
"An important benefit of the switch to all-digital broadcasting is that it will free up parts of the valuable broadcast spectrum for public safety communications (such as police, fire departments, and rescue squads). Also, some of the spectrum will be auctioned to companies that will be able to provide consumers with more advanced wireless services (such as wireless broadband).

Consumers also benefit because digital broadcasting allows stations to offer improved picture and sound quality, and digital is much more efficient than analog. For example, rather than being limited to providing one analog program, a broadcaster is able to offer a super sharp “high definition” (HD) digital program or multiple “standard definition” (SD) digital programs simultaneously through a process called “multicasting.” Multicasting allows broadcast stations to offer several channels of digital programming at the same time, using the same amount of spectrum required for one analog program. So, for example, while a station broadcasting in analog on channel 7 is only able to offer viewers one program, a station broadcasting in digital on channel 7 can offer viewers one digital program on channel 7-1, a second digital program on channel 7-2, a third digital program on channel 7-3, and so on. This means more programming choices for viewers."

Personally, I think the Television Manufacturers Lobby (TML) found a way to get us all to buy either new sets or convertors. Even though the convertors are being subsidized by the government, those are our tax dollars at work. We buy them twice. Nice... if you're a lobbyist.

It's a conspiracy I tellz ya... I blame Zenith.

January 14, 2009 2:08 PM  
Blogger Dr. Know said...

Funny how most of the members of the Grand Alliance, who pushed this through as an exclusive replacement for analog, are now mostly bankrupt. Like Zenith.

Fact is, for National Security reasons they should have left analog alone - they both use the same 6mHz bandwidth, and mostly the same spectrum; they could have been intermixed. But the lower VHF spectrum was foiled off for the Cell Phone and PDA market due to it's semi-non-direction nature. Massive solar flares, EMP, and nucular weapons can easily destroy the digital electronics and infrastructures involved and should a national EMP disaster occur DTV will be years in the re-creation. Analog can be up and running in days. Do they want us in the dark in such circumstances?

Telcoms have been dying to get their hands on VHF as the frequencies they now are allotted are far more directional and subject to dropouts in tunnels, etc.

You just paid for it with that multi-million dollar coupon program that was just depleted. DTV has also been delayed numerous times over the years, originally scheduled to be implemented in 2004. Technical difficulties and resistance from both consumers and broadcasters pushed the date back.

An old posting from 2000:
HDTV - The Future of Television

January 14, 2009 2:26 PM  
Blogger Dean Wormer said...

We have an HD tv and no cable/ satellite available where we live.

Broadcast tv comes in fine with an antenna on the roof but the digital channels are horrible.

Oh well. Losing the television won't be the end of the world.

January 16, 2009 8:28 AM  
Blogger Spartacus said...

Whether it's analog or digital... sometimes I feel like tossing the set out the window.

January 17, 2009 7:06 PM  

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