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Calls for delaying digital TV switchover


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155 replies to this topic

#1 of 156 ONLINE   Nelson Au

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Posted January 08 2009 - 12:24 PM

I saw on the news today that President Elect Obama is asking for a delay to the switch to digital TV because there is still a lot of people not ready.

This is interesting and not surprising that there are still people not aware or part of the US where people are still not clear about what is happening.

Also, there are a lot of digital TV converter box coupons out there that have not been used. Once those unused coupons expire, the extension would allow time for those who didn't get coupons to apply for those unused coupons and get the converter boxes.

I know this doesn't affect many of us here. But it was interesting news.

#2 of 156 OFFLINE   Brian^K

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Posted January 08 2009 - 12:44 PM

I would love to know what they're going to tell all the companies that purchased spectrum. "Uh, thanks for your payment. We'll get back to you about when what you bought might actually be available to you." Posted Image

#3 of 156 OFFLINE   Greg_S_H

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Posted January 08 2009 - 12:55 PM

This deadline has been known since 2006. I'm sorry, but damn the torpedoes. Any new deadline will be met with the same response. "But, but . . . I'm not ready!"

#4 of 156 OFFLINE   ThomasC

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Posted January 08 2009 - 12:56 PM

This will just delay the inevitable. I've seen a steady run of DTV PSAs for at least six months. If people aren't ready, it's most likely their own fault. Some elderly people might need help getting converters, but no matter how long you delay it, some people will always be left out. They've been given phone numbers and website addresses over and over again.

#5 of 156 ONLINE   Nelson Au

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Posted January 08 2009 - 01:01 PM

Here's a link to an LA Times article about it.

Obama asks Congress to delay digital TV switch* | Technology | Los Angeles Times

Seems the main issues is the Government wasn't able to fully educate the public (elderly, poor and rural areas) and running out of money for the coupons.

#6 of 156 OFFLINE   TravisR

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Posted January 08 2009 - 02:28 PM

I'm just surprised it took this long for them to (try to) chicken out. Since they've kept pushing the date up for about a decade, I figured I'd die of old age before the switch actually happened.

#7 of 156 OFFLINE   Stan

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Posted January 08 2009 - 04:21 PM

I'm one of the semi-procrastinators. Sort of began looking into things a year ago, but not in any hurry.

Finally sent off and got my coupons in early November. Looks like they are good until February 3, so better get moving.

There are other threads devoted to this, but any opinions on what's a good simple brand that will do the basics?

Our main stores are Best Buy, Circuit City and even Walmart for these things. Whichever one has the best price gets my business.
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#8 of 156 OFFLINE   Malcolm R

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Posted January 08 2009 - 04:44 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThomasC
This will just delay the inevitable. I've seen a steady run of DTV PSAs for at least six months. If people aren't ready, it's most likely their own fault. Some elderly people might need help getting converters, but no matter how long you delay it, some people will always be left out. They've been given phone numbers and website addresses over and over again.
Ditto. It seems like every other ad on TV is about the digital switch, not to mention the endless "crawls" across the screen during regular programming. If people aren't aware of it by now, they never will be. Maybe when their TV's go blank, they'll figure out that maybe they should do something about it.

As far as running out of coupons/money, I think they've run so many ads that they've scared many people into thinking that they HAVE to buy a converter regardless of how they get their signal. I'd imagine a good portion of those coupons have been distributed to people who don't really need them.
The purpose of an education is to replace an empty mind with an open mind.

#9 of 156 ONLINE   Nelson Au

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Posted January 08 2009 - 05:10 PM

I know someone who didn't realize that the converter box was for OTA until I explained it to them last weekend. They thought they needed it for the cable.

Another friend's wife was surprised to see my converter box working with just rabbit ears. (It's temporary in my home office till I set up a proper antenna connection.)

I'm not surprised there's still a lot of confusion and lack of understanding out there!Posted Image

#10 of 156 OFFLINE   Michael Harris

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Posted January 09 2009 - 01:14 AM

I've been wondering why they chose a date like 17 February and not the end of a month or year. Seems kind of odd. Anyone know?

#11 of 156 OFFLINE   Brian^K

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Posted January 09 2009 - 01:22 AM

Several considerations pushed the switchover away from 12/31/2008, including, avoiding the New Year's holiday, itself, avoiding the politics of doing it around the time of the inauguration, and avoiding doing it around the time of the Super Bowl.

#12 of 156 ONLINE   Adam Lenhardt

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Posted January 09 2009 - 07:25 AM

The only way the people who are still clueless on February 17 will ever be ready is if they just shut off the analog broadcasts. It'll be a chaotic month or so, but eventually everyone will be straightened out.

#13 of 156 OFFLINE   Joseph DeMartino

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Posted January 09 2009 - 08:58 AM

They just need to print up a bunch of these handy-dandy flowcharts and send them out via bulk mail. Posted Image

(Hat tip: Consumerist.com)

Posted Image

#14 of 156 OFFLINE   Rocky F

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Posted January 09 2009 - 09:22 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stan
I'm one of the semi-procrastinators. Sort of began looking into things a year ago, but not in any hurry.

Finally sent off and got my coupons in early November. Looks like they are good until February 3, so better get moving.

There are other threads devoted to this, but any opinions on what's a good simple brand that will do the basics?

Our main stores are Best Buy, Circuit City and even Walmart for these things. Whichever one has the best price gets my business.

There are a lot available, but the Zenith DTT901 seems to be the most popular. It's available at Circuit City and Radio Shack and it's $59.99 before the coupon, so basically $20. Walmart carries an RCA that's cheaper, but I've heard that it's not nearly as good.
Rocky

#15 of 156 OFFLINE   David Deeb

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Posted January 09 2009 - 09:29 AM

I love that graphic Posted Image

Push it back? Because 6% of the TVs aren't ready? Will it be acceptable when it's 5%, 4%, 3% or 0%?

100% of the TVs won't be ready. That's just a fact. Just like some people are late on April 15th, (probably more than 6%), & I don't think they will push that date back.

Let's move on for pete's sake. Fix all the other issues, Congress. Not the one you've already resolved.

#16 of 156 OFFLINE   Alfonso_M

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Posted January 09 2009 - 09:36 AM

DOUBLE POST

#17 of 156 OFFLINE   Alfonso_M

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Posted January 09 2009 - 09:46 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Malcolm R
As far as running out of coupons/money, I think they've run so many ads that they've scared many people into thinking that they HAVE to buy a converter regardless of how they get their signal. I'd imagine a good portion of those coupons have been distributed to people who don't really need them.

I'd recommend to anyone planning to keep and old analog set around for a while to get a coupon ...
What happens if one decides to drop Cable or SAT after the switch-over?

Not a far fetched probability in this economy and with the rising prices 'providers' keep charging...

#18 of 156 OFFLINE   zackscott5

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Posted January 09 2009 - 10:12 AM

It's funny. I have a HDTV and I was in the market for getting an HD Antenna ( a small little rabbit ears with a dish that looks like the Star ship enterprise.). Any way before I got it I went into radio shack to get some questions ansewered. I tol dhthe guy what I had ( a hd TV bought in 2007) and asked about certain HD antennas asking specifically if they would recieve HD Signals. He said yes but that I should also get a Digital Tuner. I told him that I think that the TV already has one built in since it was made in 2007 and is a Digital Television. Dude still didn't know what the heck he was talking about.

By the way..the TV does have a built in Digital Tuner. But even Radio Shack Employees don't know about whats going on...sad.
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#19 of 156 OFFLINE   Bryan X

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Posted January 09 2009 - 10:49 AM

Quote:
... and asked about certain HD antennas asking specifically if they would recieve HD Signals.

There is no such thing as an HD Antenna. Your antenna has no idea whether you are receiving a digital or analog signal. The only reason you see HDTV antennas in the marketplace is because it sells better from a marketing standpoint.

#20 of 156 OFFLINE   zackscott5

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Posted January 09 2009 - 11:30 AM

Yes but I was completely getting rid of cable. Haven't had an antenna for about 15 years. kinda out of the loop.
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