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Friday, April 18, 2008

The Analog To Digital TV Change Controversy

By now we have all been subjected ad nauseum to the controversy surrounding the change over. If you have had an opportunity to see broadcast digital quality then you will have no questions as to a major reason for the change over. Over the air broadcast quality is terrific with digital. The down side is if you have a weak signal you get nothing. With a weak analog signal you could watch the fuzzy picture until your eyeballs fragged out. Many a Steelers game I stood gently moving the rabbit ears to try and get any picture. Of course the freeing up of air wave space is also a big factor. Digital will allow a lot more information in a much small volume of space.

Regardless of why, how does it affect you and me. I have way too many TVs, especially considering how little TV I watch. Now Comcast says they are going to continue their analog signal so I should be ok. If your cable company decides to cash in on converter boxes, then you could be hit for $60.00 for each and every TV you want to continue to use. The government is handing out $40.00 coupons to apply against the price of the converter boxes, a maximum of two per household as long as the supply of coupons last. Again, if you have cable or Dish, you shouldn’t expect much difficulty with the transition. Cynic that I am, I highly doubt that but hey, you can only go on what these monopolistic thugs put out as information.

If you get your TV through an antenna, you are pretty much stuck with going to some type of conversion box unless the TV is digital capable. That isn’t likely if the TV is several years old. If you a roof top antenna system, you could put the box on the single antenna as long as you are willing to watch the same show on every set. Since that is unlikely, you will be stuck with the cost of sticking a box on each and every TV. At this time I haven’t read anything that sounds like a work around this problem. Do the math, if you have six TVs and the converters are $50.00 each(currently at Walmart), you are looking at $300.00 minus $80 if you are lucky enough to get the government coupons and the store is actually willing to take them, you are looking at least $220.00 plus tax out of pocket to continue to watch TV.

This link is to Radio Shack who has a good overall description of the issue.

This link is to the site that lists all of the conversion boxes that are presently acceptable to the government couponing agency.

This whole issue will, no doubt, become even more interesting as we get closer to the dead line of February 17, 2009.

This blog is based on my understanding of the situation and realistically that may not be as accurate as I hope.


The Non-Specialist Specialist said...

To the author of this blog:

Hello, I'm a news reporter out of Northern California and came across your blog in some of my DTV research. Just wanted to say thanks for the easy to understand blog. Much appreciated! Take care.

ibdragon said...

Yow, a compliment from a professional writer, Thank you, Affirmation of self expression is sorely needed, seldom received and highly valued when it occurs.
Thank you for your comment.

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