Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Here Is Some More Stupidity Out Of Washington...

If you have lived under a rock or have been in a coma the last 5 years you may not have heard they are switching from analog to digital broadcast television signals. Fear not, our government is not only subsidizing consumers buying digital to analog converter boxes (which many people don't need - if you have cable or satellite or a new TV you are fine)...but it is also going to delay the inevitable until at least June...nothing to see here you can go back to sleep...

"DTV Switch Delay Approved By Senate

The move pushes the deadline to June 12, giving federal agencies more time to prepare the public for the move from analog to digital television broadcasting.

By W. David Gardner, InformationWeek
Jan. 27, 2009
URL: http://www.informationweek.com/story/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=212902838

Postponement of the nationwide transition from analog to digital TV broadcasting was virtually assured after the U.S. Senate Monday unanimously approved delaying the switch until June 12. With President Obama and the House of Representatives already signaling their approval of the delay, the measure should be settled this week.

The switch, originally scheduled to occur on Feb. 17, will affect several million Americans who still receive television broadcasts over old analog sets, typically through the use of rabbit ear or rooftop antennas. The Neilson rating company has estimated that at least 6 million Americans won't be able to get digital broadcasts with converter boxes. Some Americans -- there are no accurate estimates of how many -- won't be able to receive analog or digital reception after the switch. To get reception, they will have to buy satellite or convert to digital cable.

"This is a big step toward ensuring that consumers can adequately prepare for the DTV transition," Sen. Amy Klobucher, D-Minn., said in an e-mail. "Delay allows federal agencies to adequately prepare." She said the current capacities of federal call centers can handle only 350,000 daily calls from consumers of the 1.5 million who are expected to call in the days immediately following the switchover. The campaign to delay the switch was spearheaded by Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.V., and Klobucher in the Senate.

The FCC has already auctioned the old analog spectrum for nearly $20 billion, most of it going to AT&T and Verizon Wireless. Government officials decided the 700-MHz spectrum could be vacated, because most consumers had moved to cable and satellite reception and weren't using the spectrum anyway. A portion of the 700-MHz band was set aside for use by public safety agencies, but there were no serious bids for that section of the spectrum. FCC officials have said they want to schedule another auction to sell spectrum that can be used for public safety purposes.

Sen. Klobucher, who said 21% of Minnesotans still use analog broadcasts, noted that the analog spectrum serves an important public safety role. "Consumers who do not successfully make the transition," she said, "will lose access to the Emergency Alert System and Amber Alert messages."

The federal program to assist consumers in making the move from analog to digital broadcasting ran out of money recently, interfering with the flow of coupons consumers can use to purchase converters that will enable their old analog sets to receive digital broadcasts."

...that is all.

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  1. Ya know, they've been blasting us with info about this stupid digital change for what seems an eternity. If people can't take the initiative to get ready for it, why is that the rest of our fault? I did what I needed to do so my idiot-box would work come the switch. Now those of us who are prepared need to "wait-up" for those who aren't. Seems to be a theme... Wonder what will happen when the economy collapses. Will Washington sign a bill to put the collapse on hold until the idiots are prepared for it?

  2. Go to interject something into what Sneaux said about people not getting ready. In this case it's not all of the folks fault that didn't upgrade to the new box. When the government established the group to see in the change they underfunded them (or they bought a jet with the money or something) and they don't have funds to print the 40 whatever dollars off vouchers that everyone wants to get. Last I heard there were over 40,000 people on the waiting list to get the voucher so they can get the box for 10 bucks instead of 50 or 60. For myself I didn't realize there were even 40,000 sets of rabbit ears on TVs in the country.

  3. Not to sound like a tin foil hat type but....
    what is the real reason for this change?
    As spooky as our government has been getting...
    is there an ulterior motive?
    Ya just have to wonder latley!