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douglas9 Donating Member (762 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-09 06:44 AM
Original message
DTV converter box coupon program running out of money
Source: Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The Feb. 17 transition from analog to digital television broadcasts looms and as many as 8 million households are still unprepared, but the government program that subsidizes crucial TV converter boxes is about to run out of money.

People who still rely on analog TV sets to pick up over-the-air signals — whether it is through rabbit-ear aerials on TVs or antennas on the roof — will see their screens go dark when the changeover happens. To avoid that, those people have to switch to cable or satellite TV, buy a television set with a digital tuner or buy a converter box that can translate digital signals from the airwaves into analog.

To subsidize the converter boxes, most of which cost between $40 and $80,which can be purchased without coupons, the government has been letting consumers request up to two $40 coupons per home. But any day now, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), the arm of the Commerce Department in charge of administering the coupon program, expects to hit a $1.34 billion funding ceiling set by Congress.


Now the NTIA is warning that unless lawmakers step in quickly with more funding or new accounting rules, it will have to create a waiting list for coupon requests. That would mean it could send out additional coupons only as unredeemed ones expire, freeing up more money for the program.

Read more: http://www.southbendtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?D...
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no_hypocrisy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-09 07:24 AM
Response to Original message
1. Interesting irony as the television industry insisted on ramming this change
Edited on Sat Jan-03-09 07:26 AM by no_hypocrisy
on us. The public didn't ask or demand this. It was hoisted upon us as a done deal. Now network television risks losing untold revenue as many of us will not have access to shows and hence advertising until the damned coupons are available, if we decide to get the converter boxes at all. It's not like we've suddenly going to get satellite or cable in frustration.
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LiberalFighter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-09 07:31 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Someone predicted that 20% will just let their tv go black
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mamameow Donating Member (223 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-09 10:14 AM
Response to Reply #2
9. only until march
i live in an isolated town in southern arizona, the local stations available are 4, 2 of these are in spanish. satellite is almost necessary. plus there is absolutely nothing to do for entertainment except shop(hard to do without money) and the movies which tend to be censored. Fahrenheit 911 was limited to a couple of days with limited showing in only one theater.

come march i am leaving for the city, big city, in florida, close by with lots of out door activities. that will be the end of t.v. for me. i am suspicious of these converter boxes and digital service, since we did not ask for them, forced to have them. just think of the number of t.v.'s with spying devices available if the purpose for digital service was spying. who benefits from the digital service and what is wrong with analog? if it is only to enhance the picture, then let those who want to enhance get a converter and leave the rest of us alone. not everyone has to have digital.
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crispini Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-09 10:30 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. Who benefits from the digital service? The taxpayer and the cell companies.
The government is taking back the portion of the spectrum used for analog and is selling it off. I believe the cell phone companies are getting some prime "real estate" on the spectrum.

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.
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tomreedtoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-09 12:15 PM
Response to Reply #9
19. You'd better get that TV. Florida is boring.
Edited on Sat Jan-03-09 12:19 PM by tomreedtoon
The only thing you can do for free is walk in the parks. Only not all the time. Certainly not at night. And be careful who else is walking in the park; homeless, insane, derelict, gun-crazy and drug-dealing individuals are part of our native charm.

And it rains in the summer, right in the afternoon. Nobody walks around in that steambath if they're sane.

You want those romantic things you see in the brochures? Not the theme parks, silly, but the marinas, the golf clubs, the water skiing and the romantic dances on the waterfront? Gee, I hope you have a couple of million in the bank, because that's the only way you can get access to those events. Like everywhere else, if you got jack, you got slack; if you got zip, take a trip.

Put your tinfoil hat away; digital service isn't about spying. It's about the fact that analog TV channels take up one hell of a lot of bandwidth, and the reduced bandwith of digital means those frequencies can be used for something else. What else? Well, did you get involved in the big arguments about "frequency giveaways" or didn't you? If you didn't, it doesn't matter. Whatever goes there, it will go to better use than showing that jerk Jimmy Kimmel making fun of his Hispanic heritage.

However, you might want to talk to your neighbors about how easy or hard it will be to receive signals. You get in a big city, you'll get reflections and multipath distortion. A good antenna might help with that...if it's outdoors and you have a rotator. Indoors your rabbit ears won't do very much and you'll get regular freezing signals.

In conclusion, there ain't no honor or entertainment in a whorehouse. Welcome to Florida.
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mamameow Donating Member (223 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-09 02:47 PM
Response to Reply #19
26. going home
how would you like 120 degrees with 70% humidity (very high for us)for 10 days in the summer? how about triple digit heat for 3months with high humidity for us? how about no rain for 18 months? the color here is brown, brown sand, brown shriveled plants and people. plants and shrubs die no matter how much water is applied. i have seen people walk around in the rain thanking god for the wet. most of the water falls as spit, like when someone spits out the car window and hits your windshield. the rain/spit hits your block but not the next one over. if you leave a plastic container outside for a month during the summer, it is destroyed, disintegrates. their is a law here that if a strange person comes into a restaurant and asks for water and nothing else, you must offer water or face a fine. a walk here must be done after the sun goes down, due to the heat. also carry a flashlight and big stick, mostly to watch out for rattlesnakes. they recommend any outdoor activity be done between 4am and 7am due to the heat. ever burn your hand, really burn with blisters, on your car when you forget not to touch the metal? it get's hot here, hot you do not understand until you try to live here. the heat/dryness does real damage to your skin and hair. ever had superheated air blown in your face?

florida is cheaper than arizona. to live here you need money just for the basics like water and electricity. takes 400.00 a month to cool a 38ft motor home. have you ever lived in florida or southern arizona? if you haven't then you are getting your info from someone's opinion. i have lived in both and florida is home, lived there for a very long time.

as far as the tinfoil hat, how do you know spying is not involved? we all carry cell phones and alot of people do not know that they are being kept track of by the phones. so where is your proof regarding analog/digital? if the government wants digital, then it will profit corporations and possible spying on us. the government never benefits us.
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Joe the Revelator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-09 04:57 PM
Response to Reply #26
28. You're going to be sadly disappointed with Florida if you think the heat in AZ is bad
Try 100 degrees with 98% humidity.
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ChazII Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-09 08:04 PM
Response to Reply #28
30. Agreed.
I live in Phoenix and will take the triple digit heat, little rain, and low humidity over Florida any day of the week.
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martymar64 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-04-09 05:26 AM
Response to Reply #26
44. From an oven to a steamer
Have you considered going north? Like maybe Oregon or Massachusetts?
AZ and FL would both be at the bottom of my places to live list, right below Bangladesh and Siberia and Darfur.
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cabluedem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-04-09 05:35 AM
Response to Reply #19
46. Yeah most of FL is poor but you can always play "tease the alligators", right? nt
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Tesha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-09 06:00 PM
Response to Reply #9
29. You know, a *LOT* of DUers need medication. Stat. (NT)
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tavalon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-09 10:00 PM
Response to Reply #9
38. I grew up in Florida
My condolences. I'm sure you'll pay off your karma quickly.
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AndyTiedye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-04-09 12:15 AM
Response to Reply #9
41. They Probably Would If They Could, But
To send data OUT from such a box would require a fairly powerful transmitter.
Not something that could be powered by that little wall wart that came with the box.
Your TV antenna is not suitable for transmitting (and even if it were, there are millions
of these boxes, they would all be interfering with each other).

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cliss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-09 04:00 PM
Response to Reply #2
27. We will be one of those.
Screw it. I think the networks who thought this would be a "done deal" I think this whole thing is going to backfire.

Millions of Americans instead of watching TV, they will now be out walking, picking flowers, enjoying life instead of watching the tube.

:smoke:
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hayu_lol Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-09 07:35 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. Haven't watched TV for over 18 years now...
and you know something, I don't miss not having it at all.

In the early days of TV, people with sets invited their friends over for an evening of watching the early programing. Many would show up early and sit there absolutely fascinated looking at the pre-broadcast test patterns. TV had promise in those days.

Today, it is mostly infomercials and commercials.

They demanded we change over. Screw them.
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PatrynXX Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-09 07:37 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. That and the signal has to be really good in order to recieve it.
No more days of tolerating snow just to hear the show. I grew up on that. Today it simply would say no signal or skip or pixelate. They really need to work on that. I've got way too many movies so getting the channels isn't important.
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Ms. Toad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-09 11:38 AM
Response to Reply #4
14. Yep, That's the big difference no one is talking about
Analog gradually goes to fuzz. Digital is either there, or not. If the signal isn't strong enough, you get nothing. I haven't seen faces clearly for years - come February I won't see them at all.

I can get "All Jesus All the Time" versions 1-5 (since you can simulcast on digital I now get five times the channel I never wanted in the first place), one PBS channel, and if I stand in front of the TV holding the VHS rabbit ears with both hands I can get NBC. That's it - with an amplifier. My only other option is to crawl on the roof and rewire the house.
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zehnkatzen Donating Member (769 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-09 11:48 AM
Response to Reply #14
16. OMG ... You get 5 Jeebus Channels Too?
Why is it that TBN, for all it's begging and pleading about how it's going to run out of money, can always afford to have all 5 digital subchannels?

Discuss.
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Ms. Toad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-09 12:10 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. The first time I scanned it was ALL I got.
Second time, I at least added a PBS channel.
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martymar64 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-04-09 05:31 AM
Response to Reply #16
45. I just switched over . . . NO JEEBUS CHANNELS!!!!! HOORAY!
Here in Austin , there are no Jeebus channels in the digital spectrum. One of my new multicasted channels plays old TV shows like Adam 12 and Kojak and Buck Rogers and the original Battlestar Galactica. However in my little corner of the city, the reception still sucks donkey dicks, even wqith digital.
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hlthe2b Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-09 08:47 AM
Response to Reply #1
8. I finally broke down and applied as I have two LCD monitors
Edited on Sat Jan-03-09 09:15 AM by hlthe2b
that have tv tuners in them and I figured, what the hey.... Mine are scheduled to be mailed out on the 16th, so I'm not holding my breath..I got rid of my dedicated tv long ago, along with the exorbitant cable bill and hassle.

I watch so little tv anyway (and much of it online) that I'd survive I imagine for sometime. But, the elderly, housebound, and poor--this sucks.

I'm also hearing those boxes don't work very well with antennas in most areas of the country and obviously, the poor and many elderly are not going to have cable or satellite. :shrug:
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Pastiche423 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-09 08:57 PM
Response to Reply #8
34. You heard correctly
I bought a converter in June last year. Only two channels come in - CBS and NBC. Of those two channels, only NBC comes in all of the time. CBS comes in occasionally, but mostly all I get is No Signal.

I guess I'll be saying bye-bye to Letterman (the only show I watch w/any consistency) after February 17.

The building I live in does not allow dishes or antennas on the roof. There are going to be a lot of pissed off seniors here after that date.
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Thor_MN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-09 11:03 AM
Response to Reply #1
12. So we should like using 1930's technology? Should we use dial telephones as well?
The current analog signal format was established in the 1930's. When color beckcome possible, they faced a decision - break the compatiblity of existing Black and White sets or maintain the old signal, piggybacking the color information on the Black and White info. The technology had improved by then such that a better system would have been possible, but what do you do about all the old TV's? They decided to forgo any advances other than adding color to the already dated signal. Now for the first time since the 1940's comes an overall enhancement to television signals and it's unwanted and unneeded?

The price of innovation is obsolescence of old equipment. Most major advances to existing broadcast technologies, be it TV, cell phones, recorded media or internet connections come with pain. There is cost required to send the new information and there is cost to recieve it. The cell phone networks have adopted and abandoned several protocols and most people haven't noticed because they have been buying new phones faster than the protocols have changed. I have a 30 year old black and white TV in my garage that still works just fine, until February. A 1940's Admiral TV, assuming you could find one in working condition would still work just dandy to receive network broadcasts, until February. At some point, you have to cut the old stuff, I think that after 60+ years, it's time for the old sets to retire.

I haven't bought a new TV in 15 years (not counting recievers built into computers), because I have been paying attention to technolgy. I'm starting to consider switching to digital now that the switchover is finally here. I may wait until summer, to avoid run ups in prices due to panic buying by the people that did not pay attention.

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Ms. Toad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-09 11:41 AM
Response to Reply #12
15. Yes, it's unwanted and unneeded.
Fine for those in major metropolitan areas, but for those of us more than about 30 miles from the nearest broadcast antenna the "overall enhancement" means losing TV entirely. I'd rather continue to have the option of poor analog as an alternative to exhorbitant cable/dish bills.
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Tesha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-04-09 07:57 AM
Response to Reply #15
47. Have you tried it?
We live ~40 or 45 miles from Boston and for those stations
that are transmitting in digital, we get their digital transmissions
far better than we ever got their analog transmissions, and the
additional digital sub-channels are very useful to us, especially
with the PBS channels. Plus, this can only improve as the stations
begin transmitting more-powerful digital signals as we approach
cut-over day.

Tesha

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Ms. Toad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-04-09 04:38 PM
Response to Reply #47
54. How do you think I know all I can get is diddly squat?
Edited on Sun Jan-04-09 04:41 PM by Ms. Toad
I get 5 versions of "All Jesus All the time" and one PBS station. If I position myself directly in front of the antenna (with the strongest amplifier I can buy) and hold both of the VHS rabbit ears I can get ABC, the one of the big 4 stations broadcasting with the highest strength. If I let go of either rabbit ears the signal vanishes.

I strongly prefer analog, since I don't plan to either pay for TV or watch "All Jesus All the Time." I don't care if they broadcast in both digital and analog - but once they switch, I get next to nothing unless I start paying a monthly fee. From what they tell me, they are not increasing broadcast strength once the cut over date comes.
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dflprincess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-09 08:20 PM
Response to Reply #12
33. Okay, please don't laugh
I still have one, hard wired phone that is indeed a dial model. I was going to replace it, but I've come to enjoy the antique value of it and the look of horror on people's faces when I mention it. (My other phones are cordless and have jacks and yes, I do prefer the convenience of the cordless ones).

Say what you will, but that phone in my bedroom has lasted through 35 years of abuse, including being dropped and it works when the electricity goes out. I can't tell you how many cordless phones I've gone through in that time.
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FredStembottom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-09 10:11 PM
Response to Reply #12
39. For me........
Edited on Sat Jan-03-09 10:17 PM by FredStembottom
...it's the demand that the old signal be switched off that is suspect. All that standard TV equipment at all the hundreds of stations being powered down on Feb. Why not let the 2 signals co-exist? Like when FM radio came along. AM was allowed to go on. And FM stereo was kept compatible with mono FM. And now AM digital (mondiale) exists w/o the plug being pulled on regular AM.

Why couldn't TV do the same? Like when color TV came in and the B&W signal was allowed to go on.

Etc.
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Thor_MN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-04-09 10:18 AM
Response to Reply #39
50. Because the color and B&W signal are the same protocol
They just added color information to the existing B&W signal. Digital TV is more akin to FM vs. AM radio, they can't coexist in the same frequency range. Now they could allow the old analog signals to continue, but there is money to be made by selling off that bandwidth and the broadcasters don't want the costs of running both signals.

Besides, look what happened to AM radio, it degenerated into nothing but blowhard conservative hate radio. Do you really like your old TV so much that you will still love it when the only thing you can watch on it is 24 hours of OxyRush and commercials for ShamWow?
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FredStembottom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-04-09 11:22 AM
Response to Reply #50
51. Or could all that old style bandwidth also bring us .......
.....new, local goodies? Like:

We never argue that there's too much internet because a lot of it is crap.
Just thinking out loud.
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surrealAmerican Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-05-09 11:20 AM
Response to Reply #39
56. They can't maintain the analog signal while adding the digital ...
... signal because that would double the bandwidth necessary for a station to broadcast. A large part of the reason for this switch is to reduce bandwidth, freeing up more frequencies for other uses. Color TV uses no more bandwidth than black and white by design.
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clspector Donating Member (295 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-04-09 06:55 PM
Response to Reply #12
55. oh lord,
give up trying to be rational about this. The people here adore their victrolas and would never bother with new technology like, say, computers.
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Abq_Sarah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-04-09 12:47 AM
Response to Reply #1
42. The Congress shoved this change through
The Congress gave the digital spectrum to television broadcasters back in 1996. The intent is to auction off the analog spectrum for an estimated 10 billion dollars. In theory, it wasn't a bad idea but it's been poorly managed. With the switch, more analog channels will be opened up for first responders, emergency channels and of course, wireless communications.
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Javaman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-05-09 11:21 AM
Response to Reply #1
57. I think they didn't plan on a disastrous economy either...
people will be delaying any major purchases of anything new for a while.

Unless the price of a new HD tv comes way down. I think this will be the year radio will be making a resurgence.

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JeanGrey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-09 08:07 AM
Response to Original message
5. I'm still trying to figure out how this is a governent expense in
the first place.
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jmowreader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-09 08:42 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. I'm with you
Of all the things the government could have spent $1.34 billion on, increasing the income of Shanghai Number Three Digital Electronics Workshop, or whatever Chinese factory makes these damn things, should have come after...oh, I don't know, maybe replacing a few bridges or increasing incoming-cargo security at the Port of Los Angeles? Besides, the only thing that makes these boxes "worth" $60 instead of $20 is the US government's $40 per unit subsidy. What are there, two ICs, three connectors, ten capacitors, a wall wart power supply and twenty resistors in one? Total parts cost of $5? If that?

This ties into another pet peeve: tuition vouchers for private schools. There should be no doubt in anyone's mind that if the government starts handing out $5000 checks for people to use at any private school they want, tuition at any private school that doesn't have "Christian" in its name is going up $5000 per year.
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Tesha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-04-09 08:02 AM
Response to Reply #6
48. Here's some teardown data
Edited on Sun Jan-04-09 08:18 AM by Tesha
http://www.dspdesignline.com/news/212100315

You can find much more by Googling "digital TV teardown", but
the best teardown reports will cost you big bucks.

http://www.eetindia.co.in/ART_8800552310_1800002_TA_bf0...



Tesha

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Tesha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-04-09 08:02 AM
Response to Reply #6
49. (DU duplicate removed by author)
Edited on Sun Jan-04-09 08:03 AM by Tesha
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2Design Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-09 10:20 AM
Response to Reply #5
10. govt pushed this - I remember years back bush saying something
about everyone being on digital even before this came about - had to do with digital internet it seemed and I thought then, they probably needed it to spy
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PBS Poll-435 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-09 01:32 PM
Response to Reply #5
23. The FCC auctioned off the portion of the frequency spectrum that was reserved for
Analog TV signals. The government got the cash and as a peace offering to the little people, they would send you a coupon card to help you continue to watch tv.
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rateyes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-09 08:47 AM
Response to Original message
7. That's probably the real reason I haven't received my coupons
I requested 4 months ago. They tell me they were mailed, but I never got them, and they are saying that I'm only approved for two regardless of whether I use them or RECEIVED them or not.

Bastards.
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Libertas1776 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-09 11:10 AM
Response to Original message
13. ...
Don't get me wrong, I think the whole switch thing is a huge waste of many but we're not alone in the world in doing this. Most of Europe, for example, has or is in the progress of completing the same switch to digital. So, in a way, its more of a worldwide pain in the ass then a national one.
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zehnkatzen Donating Member (769 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-09 11:51 AM
Response to Original message
17. I'd of figured they'd run out already ...
One thing they always said about the converter box coupon program was that it had a limited amount to give out.

We got ours early (and waited until they were almost expired) just because I was afraid there'd be a run on them. I can't say why, but I was sure they'd run out a whole lot quicker than that.

Of course, if they were willing to subsidize and were so concerned about Joe Sixpack losing his analog signal, they'd of made them free. But someone has to make money off it all, don't they.

So far, I like what I've seen about DTV, except for the "Digital Cliff" and the fact that we can't use our VCR to record programs by programming it to tune the channels anymore ... it's analog tuning, of course.
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RC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-09 12:15 PM
Response to Reply #17
20. If you had the converter box you still can.
They have both RF and audio/video out connectors on the back.
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zehnkatzen Donating Member (769 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-09 08:58 PM
Response to Reply #20
35. UR right, of course, but I can't program the channel changing. That's the big stumbling block n/t
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SKKY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-09 12:48 PM
Response to Original message
21. Hopefully, it will be as nice as it is here in Spain...
...I get 36 channels, plus several Audio channels.
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AndyTiedye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-09 01:23 PM
Response to Original message
22. 25 Miles from San Francisco, We Will Lose ALL Our Channels
Almost every channel in the Bay Area is moving to UHF, permanently.

UHF doesn't make it over hills or through trees the way VHF does.

No more TV for our community.


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GoesTo11 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-09 01:58 PM
Response to Original message
24. At least we'll have TV through the football season
I applied for a coupon and haven't gotten it yet. No way I'm paying more for a box to leave me with what I had before. Time to let the TV turn into a DVD monitor (for DVD's checked out from my local library!).
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ChazII Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-09 08:10 PM
Response to Reply #24
32. My card arrived last week and we
picked up the box tonight.
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Bushknew Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-09 02:09 PM
Response to Original message
25. Why would the Government care that you have this box unless
Edited on Sat Jan-03-09 02:44 PM by Bushknew
THEY had a purpose/need for it?

Wake up
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AndyTiedye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-09 11:55 PM
Response to Reply #25
40. Their Purpose/Need is to Feed us RW Propaganda
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NashVegas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-09 08:06 PM
Response to Original message
31. Yeah, Imagine All Those Households That Aren't Getting TV Commercials
The broadcasting industry would like to say to the electronics industry: fuck you very much.
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starroute Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-09 09:48 PM
Response to Original message
36. TV has been one of the opiates of the masses
I'm convinced TV has been one of the major things that has kept the general population distracted enough to prevent all-out revolution as the economic squeeze gets tighter and tighter.

But if the poorest among us -- the ones who can't afford cable or satellite and still depend on analog sets and rabbit ears -- can't afford converters and even with converters can't bring in the digital broadcasts if they're outside the major cities or in a poor reception zone within a city, then we're likely to be in for some long hot summers.

Long walks? Picking flowers? How about riots and urban rampages?

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Abq_Sarah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-04-09 12:52 AM
Response to Reply #36
43. I cancelled my cable service 5 years ago
And it was the best thing I ever did. I've saved over 3k and used money I would have spent on cable on a nice 32" LCD HDTV that I use to watch DVDs.
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tavalon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-09 09:55 PM
Response to Original message
37. Yeah, I'm running scared!
Oh, wait, I'm not. I quit TV about a decade ago.
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Jack_DeLeon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-04-09 12:37 PM
Response to Original message
52. The whole think is a waste of money, TV is a luxury.
If its about "important news" or something like that for the poor, people still have radios dont they.
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Endangered Specie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-04-09 12:41 PM
Response to Original message
53. Who needs TV when you have BitTorrent?
ABC airs alot of its shows online, and if you really want to see a game, take a trip down to the local sports bar with some friends!
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douglas9 Donating Member (762 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-06-09 04:20 AM
Response to Original message
58. TV Converter Program Runs Out of Funding(WaPo Update 1.6.09)
The government's billion-dollar program to help people prepare for the transition to digital television has run out of money, potentially leaving millions of viewers without coupons to buy converter boxes they need to keep their analog TV sets working after the switch.

As of this past Sunday, consumers who request a $40 coupon to help offset the cost of a converter box are being placed on a waiting list. They may not receive the coupons before Feb. 17, when full-power television stations will shut off traditional analog broadcasts and transmit only digital signals.

Members of Congress are now scrambling to find ways to allocate more money to the program.

"We saw a massive spike in coupons in the past six weeks," said Meredith Atwell Baker, head of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, an agency within the Commerce Department that runs the coupon program. She said a record 7.2 million coupons were ordered in December, while the agency was expecting roughly 4 million requests. She urged consumers to make sure at least one television set is ready for the transition, with or without a coupon.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20...
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