Monday, December 17, 2007

New Sentinel has an interesting piece tonight

It is a front page article at the bottom of the page. You can read it here:

This piece illustrates one of the things that is wrong with America and wrong with big Government Democrats and Republicans.

On Feb 19th, 2009 broadcasters will no longer be required to broadcast the old analog signals that many Americans still use; per the article 20 million homes rely on analog signals.

The Federal Government set the Feb 19th, 2009 deadline a couple of years ago in order to force broadcasters to keep broadcasting analog signals so that Americans would have time to convert to digital television.

On Feb 19th 2009 you will have three choices per the piece:
1. Get a TV with a digital tuner (Note I do not have one yet)
2. Connect to cable or satellite.
3. Purchase a converter box for $60 to $70 that will let you use your old analog TV.

Get this, Congress has authorized 1.5 billion dollars to subsidize this switch so that Americans can switch easier.

You have got to be kidding me...

Each household will be able to purchase two coupons that will save you $40 on the cost of a converter box.

Yep, you got that right, the Federal Government is directly subsidizing the boxes to help ensure that Americans get to keep watching TV.

Is there anyone who thinks this is a good idea?

Mike Sylvester


Kevin said...

Yep...I think it is a good idea to make sure that everyone can watch NETWORK TV without having to pay for it.

We depend on it as a news source, weather source, etc.

What is not being mentioned here is the money the Government is making from forcing stations to go do digital.

The old analog bandwidth will be auctioned by the FCC for an expected $50-70 BILLION dollars.

J Q Taxpayer said...

Kevin has got it right. I believe the bandwidth being auctioned off will go to the cell phone industry and also the computer world.

The TV industry never asked to go the new format and the new bandwidth. They where told that was the way it was going to be.

Keep in mind there is a good percentage of our population that is not connected to cable networks or dishes. It seems strange for many of us to understand, but they are out there by the millions.

Fr. Fozy Bear said...

I have to add that at least they attempted to fund this mandate, have to give them kudos for trying!

LP Mike Sylvester said...

Kevin and J Q:

I just do not see how it could possibly be the Federal Governments job to ensure that Americans can watch Television.

It is not what I envision our Government doing...

Mike Sylvester

Templeton Peck said...

I agree with you Mike. If the federal government is going to subsidize anything, let them subsidize something useful like having an internet connection.

Robert Enders said...

If you need a source for news and weather, get a radio. They're cheap. I think I have a couple lying around the house if anyone needs one. Television is an entertainment medium.

The way this should have been handled is for the analog signal to continue 15 years after the last analog tv set is taken off the market. Most analog TV's would have conked out by then. Hobbyists and collectors will snap up the remaining few.

Instead, they are still selling analog TVs that will need to be upgraded in 13 months.

Bobby G. said...

I'm sorta/kinda in agreement with most everything all of you have stated. And you've covered it all quite well.

MY personal "bugaboo" with ALL of this is that the airwaves that carry the signals are the AIR we breathe, kapesh?

And ever since the advent of cable and satellite television (not really televison per se, but FEEDS from broadcasters), we've BEEN watching PAY TV, instead of FREE TV, so it bothers me when I see a PAY TV's ALL...PAY TV!

Reminds me of something else along those lines.
We don't necessarily need SAFER cars...we need SAFER DRIVERS!

I get real tired of any part of the government forcing me to "believe" what I "need", such as digital TV. Analog works damn fine, and even the ANALOG cable boxes were better than these digital boxes (never had a problem with analog).

But our government keeps baking "us" pies like digital TV...and then goes and sticks THEIR fingers in them anyway.

In cases such as this, I'm not from Pennsy...OR Indiana...I'm from MISSOURI.



Phil Marx said...

Hey, that's pretty stupid. The boxes cost $60 and the coupon is only for $40. Who's going to pay the other $20?

Maybe the Fort Wayne City Council will give me a $20 abatement on my property taxes next year to help with this.

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