Thursday, June 11, 2009

It's D-Day for Digital TV...

For the 15 percent of Americans who still get their television via rabbit ears, today is a momentous occasion. It's the last day ever for analog TV in America. By tomorrow night, your analog TV will be emitting a very nice shade of grey hash unless it's hooked up to a cable tv box or a digital TV converter.

The Washington Post has a very sympathetic front page article today warning that about 3 million people in the US, including 60,000 in the DC area, will be without any TV service tomorrow night, because they didn't or couldn't get the situation resolved in time. I'm sorry, but I find it very difficult to offer much sympathy.

The analog-to-digital transition has got to be one of the most publicized events ever to take place in America. How many times have you been distracted in the past couple of years by having to watch conversion announcements crawl by on your screen as you've been watching a program? How many news stories have you seen about the transition? Back in February, when the nation came within 10 days of making the jump, the government stepped in and delayed the conversion - and that should have been been more than warning enough.

Here's a news flash for you... Anyone who needs to get a converter box or an antenna by now and hasn't, would not have gotten the conversion done even with daily reminders until after their screens went blank. That's just the way some people operate.

Do you know how many times I've gotten my driver's license renewed on my actual birthday? Probably 3 or 4 times over the years. They always give you a couple of months notice, but somehow, I manage to wait until the last minute AGAIN. Of course, that will change this year, when my license is up for renewal again. That's because the state of Maryland now offers license renewal by mail! As long as you don't have any outstanding items with the MVA, and as long as you've had an eye exam in the past 12 months, you can just mail it in! It's the greatest thing ever! But I digress...

I know some grandmas out there are going to be flummoxed when the analog signals cut off, and I hope they'll be able to get the help they need. Somehow, this is going to work itself out, because America is not going to stand by without its television.

But don't expect me to cry you a river when you can't get your fix. You've been warned REPEATEDLY.

1 comment:

Mike Licht, said...

The Digital TV transition is no trouble at all if your cables are correctly polarized. Go to Screen 47 of the DTV Converter Box On-Screen Installation Guide and use the resident GPS to correctly align your antenna for each channel, allowing for local ionospheric conditions, and ARRRGGGHH!

Technical reference: