Too Cool for Internet Explorer

Thursday, January 5, 2006

Don’t Be Quite So Scared of This

[Interesting] Seventy-million TVs are about to become paperweights

Your old TV set may well go dark in 2009, and believe it or not, that’s a good thing.

That’s because, at the end of last year Congress approved legislation that set a date for the switch from analog to digital television — February 17, 2009.

[CNN via]

Something to remember, many of those TVs will not be immediately obsolete. I have no facts and figures to convey, but my suspicion is that a very high percentage of that 70 million number are TVs attached to digital satellite and/or cable boxes. Those boxes will convert the mandated digital broadcasts down to your analog TV far longer than the government’s digital deadline.

Chalk this up to another prime example of the news media loving to hype a fact that isn’t entirely truthful. Scare tactics. Now, admittedly, I believe it’s a Good Thing™ that we’re finally going to get off of analog television, but don’t let the media scare you into thinking you’ll immediately have to dump your analog television when the switch occurs.

» Posted by ALBj at 01:36 AM (ET)
Category: Cool Technology, News


Also don’t forget that digital-to-analog converters are already available and government is talking about subsidizing them so that everyone who wants one can get one cheaply. Although I realize we’re paying for it either way, the government is supposed to save a ton of money from selling off the old analog bandwidth, thus providing a source of funds for the subsidization.

» Posted by Queue
January 6, 2006 05:28 AM

Exactly. The end of the article says:

“To avoid a consumer revolt, Congress has set aside about $1.5 billion to smooth the transition. Owners of outmoded TV sets will be eligible for two vouchers, worth $40 each, to help buy converter boxes that will enable today’s analog TV sets to receive digital signals.

“Yes, the very same federal government that is cutting back on college loans and food stamps will soon be issuing TV vouchers.”

The article goes on to pooh-pooh the action, saying it’s completely unfair to consumers. I don’t understand this. If the government is mandating a switch to digital television and essentially giving you a converter so that you don’t have to throw away your analog television, how is that unfair? Also, how does that even remotely justify the B.S. article headline that CNN Fortune used for the article?

» Posted by Lee Bennett
January 6, 2006 09:08 AM

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