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What was the last product that was SO GOOD the Govt. FORCED you to buy it?

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Atman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-21-08 06:07 PM
Original message
What was the last product that was SO GOOD the Govt. FORCED you to buy it?
Edited on Mon Jan-21-08 06:19 PM by Atman
Can you think of any consumer product which was of such an advancement over a competing product that the Government required you to throw away the inferior competitor and purchase the new, "superior" product?

Did the government mandate that you stop driving Ford Tauruses and purchase Mercedes Benz automobiles instead?

Did the government mandate that you stop trying to make Windows function properly and buy a Mac instead?

Did the government mandate that you stop purchasing pressed, formed turkey roll and purchase only fresh sliced turkey breast instead?

I'm trying to think of any product in American history where the government said "This new product is just so damned good, you simply have to have it or else you can't have one at all." I can't think of one...except for digital television.

If you don't actually watch television you've likely missed the heavy-rotation advertisements running on many cable systems touting the new digital cable tv standard due to go online in 2009. The message doesn't simply say the standard is changing, the message says "Digital television is so much better than analog that the government is requiring all viewers to switch to digital television."

Really? Is that actually the reason? It's just so damn good that the government wants to make sure we don't miss out on its goodness? Are they fucking serious?

Of course, there is no way they'd tell you why they REALLY are requiring you to go digital -- so that they can a) have the ability to pull the plug and shut down communication at a moment's notice, something which cannot be done with an over-the-air analog broadcast signal, and b) require DRM-like copy protection on your digital devices, as a stroke to their big-media contributors.

No, you won't hear any of that. The only message being repeated ad nauseam is that it's all being done because digital tv is so awesome, so much better. If you don't have cable and rely on rabbit ears, I guess you don't deserve to watch television at all after 2009, Mr. & Mrs. Luddite. Oh, and we'll even give you $40 to buy a new converter box, another give-away to the industry.

The ramifications are scary enough without the blatant lying about why. Lots of people here recommend turning off your television and stop listening to the media lies. 2009 might be the perfect opportunity to do just that. Fuck 'em.

(edited for typo)

.
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Mojambo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-21-08 06:10 PM
Response to Original message
1. Recommended. n/t
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FourScore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-23-08 11:10 AM
Response to Reply #1
150. With my tax dollars, they are forcing me as a citizen to buy
all sorts of things I don't want...

electronic voting machines

weapons with depleted uranium

WARS!!!

just to name tthree off the top of my head...
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FiveGoodMen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-21-08 06:14 PM
Response to Original message
2. You're absolutely right!
I've had the same thoughts.

That message is so lame it's unbelievable (literally!)
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Common Sense Party Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-21-08 06:16 PM
Response to Original message
3. What is this "television" of which you speak???
I barely watch it. I'm definitely not upgrading. We just use ours as a monitor for watching videos and DVDs.
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kineneb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-21-08 09:16 PM
Response to Reply #3
43. I have not had one since 1979
well, we did have one just for watching tapes and dvds. It fell down and broke. I can play dvds on my laptop, so I am happy.

(why is "Hotel California" playing in my head?)
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ThomWV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-22-08 08:36 AM
Response to Reply #43
60. Well, aren't you two special? Climb out of the hole, TV is commonplace and effects your lives
It does not matter one Whit if you own a TV or not, it still effects your life in that every single person you have do deal with in life does in fact have a TVcentric world view that you are ignorant of. It would profit you greatly to be more aware of the world in which you live, agree with it or not.
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Forrest Greene Donating Member (946 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-22-08 08:52 AM
Response to Reply #60
64. Television Is Based On The Vaccuum Tube
When you stick your head in a vaccuum, it sucks your brains out.

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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-23-08 03:32 AM
Response to Reply #64
118. By Jov, I think you've got it
Finally an explanation for why the life has been sucked out of well, LIFE!
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kineneb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-22-08 12:43 PM
Response to Reply #60
65. easy there...
at that time(1979), I could not afford one; I had moved to go to college, and was on a very tight budget- I did not even have a car. For sometime after college, Hubby and I were quite poor; we thought being able to buy a boom box to play cassette tapes was extravagant.

Having gotten used to listening to radio then, I continued to do so. Now I am rather fond of streaming BBC and Deutsche Welle, and listening to Democracy Now. So I am not disconnected, just very selective. I find I have more time for crafts and music without the tube.

My choice now is cable modem or cable TV, I cannot afford both, and there is no TV reception in our area. So computers it is.
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Ladyhawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-22-08 07:56 PM
Response to Reply #65
108. Has it been three or four years since I opted out?
I couldn't afford cable and, like you, chose the Internet. There are is no cable access to the Internet in my area. It's been so long I've complete gotten out of the habit. After many years, I've started drawing again and I've improved my musical talents as well.

I would like to stay abreast of "what's cool" but I really don't have the money to pay a cable TV bill. I'm wondering if today's grocery bill put me in the hole this month.
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-23-08 03:34 AM
Response to Reply #108
119. About all you are missing on TV is
Edited on Wed Jan-23-08 03:34 AM by truedelphi
the news about Britney Spears - drug addled or bipolar, she has lost custody of her kids.

And Lindsey Lohan and Paris Hilton.

And the notion that we should just follow the Big Networks take on who the best candidate is for the Presidency.

Sounds like you've made the right trade off!
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Oeditpus Rex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-23-08 04:01 AM
Response to Reply #119
123. And 'Frontline' and 'American Experience'
and Bill Moyers' Journal and Bill Moyers' NOW and Charlie Rose and Jim Lehrer and BBC World News and "AIR: America's Investigative Reports" and "Washington Week" and "Nova" and "American Masters" and "Imagemakers" and "Independent Lens" and "Video I" and a ton of other PBS shows.



Oh and "Family Guy." :D



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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-23-08 02:34 PM
Response to Reply #123
159. Okay, Uncle, Uncle
You win!

But some of the better clips of those you can find on the internet.
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Oeditpus Rex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-23-08 03:08 PM
Response to Reply #159
161. Not everyone has the internet connection
for a Pleasurable Online Viewing Experience.

I live just far enough from town that ADSL is the best I can get. It tops out at about 300 kB. Cable isn't available.

If I had a faster connection, I'd watch a lot of PBS stuff online, and baseball.


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Ladyhawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-23-08 09:03 PM
Response to Reply #119
165. Yes, I was getting disgusted with reality TV creeping onto my favorite channels.
Even the Discovery affiliates were falling prey to the formula and I just wanted to throw the damn TV out a window. Animal Planet did that stupid ass "King of the Jungle" show...ugh! I didn't want to watch a bunch of idiots. I wanted to watch the animals.

When I moved and dish wasn't available (only cable), I opted out. Cable was hugely more expensive than dish and didn't even offer my favorite channels: Comedy Central, Cartoon Network (for Adult Swim), Animal Planet, etc. Guess what? Those channels are still not offered in our area. I'd have to pay--what?--$60 before I'd even get any decent educational channels and I still wouldn't be able to watch Comedy Central.
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angstlessk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-22-08 07:59 PM
Response to Reply #65
111. but who, oh who will tell you what to purchase..how can you possibly
KNOW that louis vouttan (sic) is the be all and end all of the jet set? WHAT GOOD ARE YOU??? A NON CONSUMER?? why do you hate amerikkka?
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kineneb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-22-08 09:21 PM
Response to Reply #111
115. yup, living on a fixed income means not being a "consumer"
"consuming" to me is: groceries, gasoline, propane, electricity, toilet paper (man, is that stuff expensive), mortgage, cable modem (our one treat), shopping at thrift stores and yard sales.

I buy very little new stuff, mostly books and art supplies, occasionally woodworking tools and computer supplies. We did the "consumer" thing for a while, until Hubby was disabled. Then we had to file for Chapter 7.

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davekriss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-22-08 01:43 PM
Response to Reply #60
73. As for that TV-centric world view...
The fetishism of the commodity the domination of society by "intangible as well as tangible things" attains its ultimate fulfillment in the spectacle, where the real world is replaced by a selection of images which are projected above it, yet which at the same time succeed in making themselves regarded as the epitome of reality.
-- Guy Debord, Society of the Spectacle
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madokie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-23-08 09:44 AM
Response to Reply #3
137. mine is tuned into the xm blues station
MY wife watches the tube at night but since july I don't watch the sat/cable news during the day anymore.
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warren pease Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-21-08 06:19 PM
Response to Original message
4. Next time will be when one of our fine corporate suck-up candidates requires...
...that we all buy medical insurance from the same vampires who are draining our economic blood already.

I could buy a dozen high-end digital TVs a year if I didn't have to continue contributing to the Blue Shield/Blue Cross relief fund for unemployed HMO executives.


wp
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ElsewheresDaughter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-21-08 06:21 PM
Response to Original message
5. VODKA
Edited on Mon Jan-21-08 06:22 PM by ElsewheresDaughter
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nancyharris Donating Member (637 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-21-08 06:25 PM
Response to Original message
6. You may want to do some research on this
The government is not forcing you to "buy" anything. it is forcing broadcasters to switch their broadcasting signal from analog to digital. You don't have to "buy" anything. New TVs (since 1999) come with digital tuners to receive digital information and old TVs can fitted with a converter (for which you can get a free voucher ($40.00). The reason for the change from analog to digital has to do with the available broadcast spectrum. Switching to digital TV will free up that spectrum for public safety communications (fire, police, rescue) as well as wireless broadband. Large cities have a serious problem with gaining access to the narrow and congested broadcast spectrum.
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TreasonousBastard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-21-08 06:30 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. It frees bandwidth up for broadcasters, too, but...
no amount of reason will pry those tinfoil hats from their heads.

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Atman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-21-08 06:34 PM
Response to Reply #10
15. How much did they pay for our airwaves? To whom?
Just curious. But the fundamental question I asked you ignored. Why are we being told it's because the quality is just do damned good that we just have to have it? What if I don't give a shit and don't mind a fuzzy, blurry image of American Idol? The airwaves are supposedly owned by The People.

.
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TreasonousBastard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-21-08 06:59 PM
Response to Reply #15
28. Cool. Show me your airwave. And find the...
lists of how spectra are allocated. Digitizing signals frees up gobs of spectra for all sorts of uses, and it's not only cops who get more, it's all wireless users. Analog signals waste spectra, as the cell companies found outr years ago.

But, here's where I come close to agreeing with you-- it won't be your local cops and firehouses who get the additional spectra. It will be the military and Homeland Security who get the bulk of it.

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DireStrike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-23-08 07:44 AM
Response to Reply #28
127. Aren't incandescent light bulbs going to be illegal soon? -nt-
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Freddie Stubbs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-22-08 08:33 AM
Response to Reply #15
59. The part of the spectrum they will be using for digital TV is less valuable than what they are using
now. The part that is now used for analog TV will be auctioned off.
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onenote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-22-08 04:42 PM
Response to Reply #15
91. of course, the government isn't simply saying what you say they are
For example, here's what the FCC says about the digital transition on its website:

Why are we switching to DTV?

An important benefit of the switch to all-digital broadcasting is that it will free up parts of the valuable broadcast spectrum for public safety communications (such as police, fire departments, and rescue squads). Also, some of the spectrum will be auctioned to companies that will be able to provide consumers with more advanced wireless services (such as wireless broadband).

Consumers also benefit because digital broadcasting allows stations to offer improved picture and sound quality, and digital is much more efficient than analog. For example, rather than being limited to providing one analog program, a broadcaster is able to offer a super sharp high definition (HD) digital program or multiple standard definition (SD) digital programs simultaneously through a process called multicasting. Multicasting allows broadcast stations to offer several channels of digital programming at the same time, using the same amount of spectrum required for one analog program. So, for example, while a station broadcasting in analog on channel 7 is only able to offer viewers one program, a station broadcasting in digital on channel 7 can offer viewers one digital program on channel 7-1, a second digital program on channel 7-2, a third digital program on channel 7-3, and so on. This means more programming choices for viewers. Further, DTV can provide interactive video and data services that are not possible with analog technology.

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Atman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-23-08 09:39 AM
Response to Reply #91
135. Have you seen the ad I'm talking about?
They are saying what I stated. The picture quality is so much better that they want everyone to be able to experience it. It's what the ad states, not me. You posting something entirely different doesn't make the statements in the ad disappear.

.
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-23-08 03:37 AM
Response to Reply #15
120. Oh but Atman, they give us likea percentage of a penny for every airwave
They now own.

And if we would just let them consolidate a little bit more, I am sure that the quality of programming on TV would shoot straight up!
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dothemath Donating Member (221 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-23-08 01:26 PM
Response to Reply #15
158. Back in your trailer, bubba
Watches American Idol, doesn't mind fuzzy, blurry images and
doesn't give a shit.
The really bad news - there are too many like you in America.
The dumbing down is nearly complete. Time to clean the gene
pool.
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RebelOne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-23-08 02:38 PM
Response to Reply #158
160. Excuse me, I live in a mobile home and I am not a "bubba."
Why do people look down their noses at we mobile home dwellers.
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Atman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-21-08 06:30 PM
Response to Reply #6
11. I did, sorry to disappoint you.
If you already have a set, it will be unusable. Who is paying for those $40 vouchers (us) and who is receiving the hundreds of millions of dollars they represent (them). Who do you think is getting this "freed up" spectrum, the airwaves which we the people theoretically own? How much are these multi-billion dollar corporations paying for our airwaves so that they can increase their profits? Did YOU vote on it? Don't be condescending...I know all about the available broadcast spectrum and why it's being given away to the big corporate donors to Washington.

.
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DadOf2LittleAngels Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-22-08 01:23 PM
Response to Reply #11
72. Not quite
"Who do you think is getting this "freed up" spectrum, the airwaves which we the people theoretically own?"

Well youre free to bid on it.. Seriously though did you ever wonder what they 802.11 was on the front of a lynksys router for home use? its a chuck of that spectrum here is the problem that spectrum is limited and if not managed (like any other resource) it will run out thus crippling development of new technologies.

"How much are these multi-billion dollar corporations paying for our airwaves so that they can increase their profits?"

Many of these corporations provide products like cellphones, cordless phones, and routers ...

"Did YOU vote on it?"

No but I did not vote on the last forestry bill either we elect representatives to manage our resources
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onenote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-22-08 04:45 PM
Response to Reply #11
92. Why spread misinformation?
Analog sets will not be "unusable" if (a) you have cable; (b) you have DBS or (c) you get a digital to analog converter, the cost of which could be effectively as little as zero (one company has announced that it will be selling digital to analog converters for $39.95, which means that they're basically free with the government-issued $40 off coupon).

And the freed up spectrum will be going to various places, including first responders for emergency communications.

And the spectrum is being auctioned off, not sold, with the proceeds going to the treasury.

Got any other myths you need debunked?

Oh,yeah. The government told people that they had to stop riding horses in the streets and had to get around in cars. Damn them.
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mduffy31 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-23-08 04:20 AM
Response to Reply #11
124. "We" are not paying for it
The money for the converters is coming from the large media companies paying for the right to use the digital signals.
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TalkingDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-21-08 06:31 PM
Response to Reply #6
12. Since the Spousal Unit and I are BAD consumers, we don't own a post
99 TV. Hell, we don't own a post 89 TV.

But technically you are correct and I must consume.




My Favorite Master Artist: Karen Parker GhostWoman Studios
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RUMMYisFROSTED Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-21-08 07:44 PM
Response to Reply #12
33. I've got one of those TV's, too.
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NashVegas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-21-08 07:52 PM
Response to Reply #6
34. Anyone Can Build & Use a Basic Broadcast Transmitter
Edited on Mon Jan-21-08 07:56 PM by Crisco
It's not just TV that's mandated to switch, but radio also.

There are 13 possible channels in the VHF spectrum - emergency services don't need that many.

Furthermore, the Fed plans to auction off the analog spectrum frequencies to private industry.

Currently a pirate broadcaster will get busted, have to pay an FCC fine. Once that spectrum is owned by private businesses, I'd imagine they'd go after a pirate for everything they've got.

Can't speak for TV but radio is not going to exist in its present form for long.

It's top heavy with sales and management, nothing is budgeted for a local, creative, programming staff, no one is working to nurture creativity and excellence for future broadcasters. What is now happening in real estate is going to happen to radio before long.

When it does, you'll see the NAB howling for legislation to deregulate foreign ownership in addition to cross-ownership with newspapers & TV. Right now, cross-ownership is the only thing that's going to prop up radio investors long enough to bail. Any sucker who buys a station at 15x what it would have cost in 1984 will, themselves, be looking for a parachute.
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mojowork_n Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-22-08 03:56 AM
Response to Reply #34
56. Oooh, I didn't know that. So actually owning a radio broadcasting station
will be like owning a corset or typewriter making factory, or a carburetor service shop?

Is that in any way related to why Air America's been having trouble finding outlets? The Chicago Air America station just finished a major upgrade -- their signal now reaches us cheese-eaters, loud and clear. Why would they have even bothered?

If you have any links to more info on how the radio business will change, I'd like to see them?
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bigbrother05 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-22-08 02:25 PM
Response to Reply #56
75. Radio has no mandate, at least for now
Many stations are going to HD technology that allows a single station to send multiple signals out within the same frequency/bandwidth. Basically allows someone like NPR to have an all news/talk stream with a classical and a jazz stream at the same time. Also lets an Alt Rock station send Alt Metal, will allow niche markets to have additional sources.
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-23-08 03:39 AM
Response to Reply #34
121. I'm finding your info interesting. Do you more to add? n/t
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IronLionZion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-22-08 01:07 PM
Response to Reply #6
66. My friend, no one here cares about facts or reason.
Hyperbole, conspiracy, and wild-eyed lunacy is what is most interesting, so it gets the most play from its very loud supporters.

Thanks for posting this.
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Rabrrrrrr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-23-08 09:42 AM
Response to Reply #66
136. I hear we're going digital because the NSA and Masons used too much bandwidth bringing down the WTC
and they're trying to recover it, to use in Area 51, without anyone finding out.
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IronLionZion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-23-08 10:12 AM
Response to Reply #136
140. Eye Spy Community-Military Intelligence (All Three) Business and Commerce Intelligence Education
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FREEWILL56 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-22-08 03:13 PM
Response to Reply #6
81. Bull shit because the FCC is selling that spectrum to the highest bidder.
Edited on Tue Jan-22-08 03:51 PM by FREEWILL56
This is not allowable by the Communications Act of 1934 and is against the structure of the FCC itself as they are only there for rule making, policing, and licensing as nobody owns the airwaves until the republicans got into the FCC to make a profit from something they don't own.
They also said in previous propaganda that they expected these converters to be in the $60-$70 range and so far they are in the $150 and up range with very few of them out there making certain companies a killing in sales. Also note that some propaganda even said on the tv of the ability to get these converters for free which is an outright lie. Do note that the links have been changed so as to not show that previous info any longer and I failed to save any of the damned pdfs spewing this garbage from the MSM that is pushing it in conjunction with the bought off repukes in the FCC. edit to add:
Do note that the FCC is answerable to congress and congress turns a blind eye to the corruption and outright law breaking activities by these criminal people and does nothing as usual.
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onenote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-22-08 05:12 PM
Response to Reply #81
93. Wrong.
Congress expressly amended the Communications Act of 1934 to not only authorize the FCC to auction the spectrum in question, but to mandate it to do so. And auctions were first authorized by Congress in 1994, when the Democrats controlled both Houses of Congress and the White House. Additional auction authority was given to the FCC by Congress in 1997, which admittedly was when the repubs controlled both houses, but also was still under a Democratic president.

As for the price of the converters, the only converters that the $40 coupon will apply to are basic devices, not the higher end $150 devices to which you refer. EchoStar, which recently purchased SlingMedia and is entering the consumer electronics market, has announced that it will have $39.95 digital to analog converters in stores in volume by June. The coupons, by the way, haven't even started being sent out yet.

Also, I'm willing to place a bet that during next year's holiday buying season -- which is when interest in the transition is expected to peak -- boxes will be available for pretty much next to nothing. In particular, I'm guessing that many retailers will try to promote the sale of new digital tvs by giving away a digital to analog converter with the purchase of a new set, so that you can continue to use your old set is a bedroom or somewhere else in the house (or give it to a relative).
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FREEWILL56 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-22-08 05:51 PM
Response to Reply #93
99. If what you say is true then I stand corrected and I am not very happy about that.
This means that the larger corporations will snatchup spectrum as nobody will be able to outbid them. Not a wise move on congress' part or the FCC.
As to the converters, they where supposed to be out in early '08. I would imagine that to be the reason why nobody is taking advantage of the coupons as the lack of these converters with a 3 month time limit in order to use the coupon would mean they would lose the $40 for the lack of approved converters available. Speaking of approved converters, do you know if there is a list of the approved converters yet? Dumb question seeing as how the're just getting round to even making some for the summer, but I have to ask oh great FCC man.
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onenote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-22-08 06:16 PM
Response to Reply #99
100. there is no particular reason for most people to get a converter at this point
The primary digital signal being broadcast by most stations is a simulcast to the analog, so for the most part, getting a digital converter wouldn't give you anything you didn't already get. Some stations are "multicasting" -- i.e, in addition to (or in place of) the HD signal, they are providing additional streams of programming -- a weather channel or possibly another network's feed (in some places, for example, a CBS station is using its multicast capacity to transmit CW programming).

According the NTIA (National Telecommunications and Information Administration, an office within the Dept of Commerce that is administering the converter box coupon program), nineteen boxes are currently being tested as part of the certification process. These boxes should start appearing in stores next month, which is also when the coupons start being sent out.
http://www.ntia.doc.gov/ntiahome/press/2008/DTVretailer...

I don't want anyone to think that I believe this process is being handled well or is going to run smoothly. Anything but. People are going to be confused, and there are going to be problems. One problem that already is rearing its head is that Congrss, in its infinite wisdom, decided that the coupons should expire within 90 days of the date they are mailed, instead of allowing them to remain valid until some set date following the end of the transition (such as 6 mos after Feb 17, 2009). Big mistake and one that Congress might yet still try to fix, from what I've heard.

The biggest problem however is that, as others have mentioned, the folks most likely to rely on over the air reception rather than cable and satellite, and thus the folks who will be most directly impacted, are also the folks that are least likely to hear about and/or clearly understand what's going to happen: the elderly, the poor, the non-English speaking. Outreach to these groups is underway through AARP, various other organizations that communicate with immigrant communities, etc, but in the end, people will fall through the cracks.
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Occulus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-23-08 09:30 AM
Response to Reply #93
131. Couple more interesting and useful points:
1. Converter box coupons are already available to be ordered. You can do so at https://www.dtv2009.gov/ApplyCoupon.aspx .

2. IMPORTANT: Coupons will expire within 90 days of the date they are issued. <-- VERY IMPORTANT, and true regardless of actual in-store supplies.

3. The list of eligible boxes as of now, per the FCC, can be found here.

4. The following is per the FCC's FAQ link (found here):
Question: When will I get my coupons?
Answer: Consumers who apply at the beginning of 2008 will receive their coupons when TV converter boxes are expected to be available in retail stores, probably in late February or early March.

#4 goes to #2. People in the industry have previously described it as a "potential clusterfuck", or the slightly more polite "there may not be enough boxes to satisfy consumer demand". Basically, if you get a coupon and it takes more than 90 days for stores near you to get the boxes, your coupon will be worthless.

It's very important, for those who need these boxes, that they do not order their coupons before the boxes are in quantity in stores. To reinforce that point, heres...

#5. Question: What is the expected timing of demand for the converters?
Answer: NTIA recognizes that the product cycle for converters is unknown and perhaps atypical of consumer electronics products generally. NTIA expects retailers to follow commercially reasonable practices in ordering and managing inventories of converter boxes.

Can I see some retailers applying a $40 markup? Of course I can!!

#6. Question: Are there restrictions on how the retailer prices the converters?
Answer: Retailer prices of coupon-eligible TV converter boxes are set by stores. The coupon can only be used to offset the purchase of an approved box by 40$. If the converter box is prices below 40$, the consumer will not get money back. Manufacturers or retailers may wish to offer combined purchases of converter boxes with smart antenna interfaces and smart antennas at promotional prices. The converter boxes, however, must be presented for sale as a stand alone unit and cannot be sold conditioned on the purchase of any other items.

Does that last mean the boxes must be sold separately?

(Note, there's nothing saying stores cannot up the price by the amount of the coupons... something I definitely would not put past some retailers.)

Here's my prediction: Initially, there will not be enough converter boxes to satisfy this mandated consumer demand. People will come to the stores with coupons in hand, only to be told that the inventory will (at first) not arrive for a few weeks. This will turn into the "Wii effect" on crack, most likely peaking over the holidays. As news spreads about the requirement for these boxes by next year- and believe me, human nature being what it is, most people will wait until the last moment- demand will increase. Supply, on the other hand, will be limited; stores will sell to whomever has the cash- or coupons- in hand, rather than prioritizing the coupon holders above the cash purchasers. The end result will be that there will be a large number of people with coupons in hand whose coupons expire because they either can't or don't use them within 90 days of receipt, especially if people do what I predict, get their coupons waaaay early, and then wait until the holidays.

I hope I'm wrong, I really do, because people in this country are angry enough as it is. I can't imagine how angry some people will become if they're told that a) their coupon is no longer valid and b) you need the box regardless, especially during the holiday season. We often joke here about how the only thing that would wake people up is losing their Brittney or their American Idol or their Guiding Light etc. Get ready- we just might find out those things the "hard" way.
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dnbmathguy Donating Member (112 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-21-08 06:26 PM
Response to Original message
7. I had heard it was to give the analog waves to police/fire
Edited on Mon Jan-21-08 06:27 PM by dnbmathguy
Gives the police/fire people more bandwidth to broadcast on for their radios. I'm not 100% sure on that, though.

On edit: Post #6 describes it much more eloquently.
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superkia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-21-08 06:28 PM
Response to Original message
8. It sounds like you can get the converter coupon so that it costs...
you nothing? If this website is accurate, the broadcast will still be over the air but a digital signal instead of an analog one? Heres the link to what I looked at today, I had a conversation with my brother and mother earlier today about it so I went to this site to check into it. I told them that I was pretty sure they wouldn't want to take away our ability to see their corporate friends commercials and the government controlled news entertainment channels.

If it turns out it will cost a penny, I wont pay it, I will just watch dvds and ignore the rest.

http://www.dtv.gov/consumercorner.html#faq1
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Atman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-21-08 06:37 PM
Response to Reply #8
16. Not "nothing." Boxes will cost $50-70. Coupons are for $40.
Some big corporations are making huge money off this. Google it. You'll see find articles about spurring tv sales to help flagging retailers, all sorts of fun stuff. Huge money involved.

.
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superkia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-21-08 06:45 PM
Response to Reply #16
19. I have a nice DVD collection and work around 65 hours a week...
so they can kiss my ass, I need my money for more important things, like food.
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onenote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-22-08 05:14 PM
Response to Reply #16
95. Boxes to be available for $39.95, making them "free" with a coupon
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zanne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-23-08 09:31 AM
Response to Reply #16
132. And the poor get ____ed again. nt
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rgbecker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-21-08 06:50 PM
Response to Reply #8
24. Thank you for this link. Very informative. n/t
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Atman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-21-08 06:53 PM
Response to Reply #24
27. That's the official government link. I urge you to Google it instead.
"Why digital tv" works, but you have to keep digging a few pages deep to get past the "official" pages to the CNET article and the discussion pages.

If the link ends in .gov, you can pretty much be certain it's not telling you the whole story.

.
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Richard Steele Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-21-08 06:28 PM
Response to Original message
9. Water.
It was FREE where I grew up, long ago...
nowadays, not so much.
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superkia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-21-08 06:49 PM
Response to Reply #9
23. I drink bottled water because where I live, tap water smells like...
its full of chemicals and tastes the same way. I thought of buying a filter but the smell and taste is so strong, I don't want to drink it filter or not. What a country we the normal folks live in nowadays, I liked America not Amerika. They have been running us into a new type of global slavery and it is only going to get worse.
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femrap Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-21-08 07:19 PM
Response to Reply #23
30. I bought a Pur filter and put it on my kitchen tap....
it works great!!! And our city water is the worst I have ever tasted...from Ohio River.

Very inexpensive and great for the environment...all of those plastic bottles taking up space in landfills.

My water now has no taste at all...I keep 2-1 gallon jugs in the fridge at all times.
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Richard Steele Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-21-08 07:42 PM
Response to Reply #30
32. We did the same.
Saving $200 a year compared to buying a case of bottled water every 5 days.
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femrap Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-21-08 07:52 PM
Response to Reply #32
35. And easy on the back, too.
My back goes out...but I still carry those 21 pounders of cat litter!
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superkia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-21-08 09:33 PM
Response to Reply #30
46. I was worried that it may still have contaminants in it even after...
being filtered. I just couldn't believe that one of those filters would turn shit into gold but maybe I will rethink my decision. With the way the economy is and prices of everything going up, I may have no choice.
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femrap Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-22-08 01:46 AM
Response to Reply #46
52. Pur offers 2 types of filters, I think...
I get the one that filters out THE MOST! I love it. My water tastes so good. And I keep gallon jugs in the fridge. Some complain about refilling the jugs but it's no big deal.

At Costco you can buy a box of filters (6, I think) so it is really cheap. My filters last about 3 months....just me using it thou.

Try it...you'll like it!
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IronLionZion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-22-08 01:09 PM
Response to Reply #23
67. Where do you think that bottled water comes from?
Wouldn't you feel better if you had control over it? Think about it. Filters are good. Save yourself some money.
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Lasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-21-08 06:31 PM
Response to Original message
13. Health insurance, depending on what state you live in. n/t
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TreasonousBastard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-21-08 06:33 PM
Response to Original message
14. Seatbelts come to mind. I'm sure...
I can think of a few others if I had to.

But, considering the silliness of this rant, I'm not going to spend a lot of time over it.
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Atman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-21-08 06:38 PM
Response to Reply #14
17. Good, because seatbelts was a pretty silly comeback.
If you have an old car that didn't come with seat belts and it still runs, you're exempt because you get an antique plate.

.
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dorkulon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-21-08 06:41 PM
Response to Original message
18. I watched "Real Time" the other night in HD and it was horrible.
The makeup looks so garish--rouge and lipstick like a geisha on everyone. Wrinkles, big fat heads--ugh!
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Atman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-21-08 06:47 PM
Response to Reply #18
22. Are you sure that was "Real Time?"
Sounds like "Meet The Press," even on a regular television!

.
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EOTE Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-22-08 07:32 PM
Response to Reply #18
103. I don't believe Real Time is in HD.
At least not the last time I saw it. Granted, you can find it on HBO HD, but it's presented in a 4:3 window and in standard resolution.
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ileus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-21-08 06:46 PM
Response to Original message
20. auto insurance
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Atman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-21-08 06:51 PM
Response to Reply #20
25. No one told you to drop Allstate and buy Geico because Geico was better.
Maybe I've overplayed the "whys and wherefores" for some. To be sure, it's a massive give-away to the media conglomerates who propped up BushCo. You don't hear about the copy-protection schemes Congress mandated as part of the conversion bill, another give-away that helps you and me exactly how? You won't hear about how much the industry is paying for all this new capacity to make money (virtually nothing). What you hear on the ads is that this is sooooo good, the government has decided everyone should have to switch. Literally, that's what the ads say.

.
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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-22-08 02:35 PM
Response to Reply #25
78. true, they told me i must stay with allstate and can never switch to geico
this must be more common than you think, i live in a hurricane area and i cannot ever change my car insurance or i will lose my right to buy homeowner's insurance

this was a deal struck by state gov't in order to get any insurers to remain in the state at all after katrina


so it's allstate or nothing in my neighborhood

people are pretty naive these days if they don't realize that federal mandates pretty much control all of the realities of life, we have not lived in the "land of the free" in my lifetime
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mdmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-21-08 06:47 PM
Response to Original message
21. R
:kick:
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jtrockville Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-21-08 06:52 PM
Response to Original message
26. REMEMBER: The FCC ruling does NOT apply to CABLE TV
The FCC ruling applies to over-the-air television ONLY. Nothing in the FCC's mandate applies to cable company offerings. Cable companies are free to offer analog as long as they choose to do so. The FCC's objective is to free up the portion of the over-the-air spectrum used by analog. The cable company doesn't use this spectrum - they deliver your signal over wires (on your utility poles or underground).

But, cable company plans to drop the analog tier coincides with the FCC's mandate, which (mis)leadings you to think the FCC mandated the cable company switch.

Those on rabbit ears are the only viewers affected by the FCC's ruling.
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TalkingDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-21-08 08:28 PM
Response to Reply #26
41. See post # 12. I am a BAD consumer. I do not have cable or satellite.
But you are correct. I must consume.


My Favorite Master Artist: Karen Parker GhostWoman Studios
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jtrockville Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-21-08 09:58 PM
Response to Reply #41
48. ROFL that's beautiful!
Unfortunately, you'll need to get a converter if you want to continue CONSUMING.

Watch TV
Consume
Watch TV
Consume

LOL
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EOTE Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-22-08 07:38 PM
Response to Reply #41
104. No one is forcing you to do a thing.
No one is mandating you switch to cable or satellite. If you'd like to continue watching TV, with much better quality, in a little while, you'll be able to get a free converter that will give you much better picture quality and programming. But no one is FORCING you to get this free converter. You're welcome to do without it. What about this is so hard to understand?
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TalkingDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-22-08 08:00 PM
Response to Reply #104
112. Maybe you were talking to the IP, but ummm I'm just goofing around. n/t




My Favorite Master Artist: Karen Parker GhostWoman Studios
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KatyaR Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-21-08 07:15 PM
Response to Original message
29. I'm amazed at how many people don't even know about the 2009 deadline.
Edited on Mon Jan-21-08 07:21 PM by fifthgendem
I've talked to several people about it, and none of them were aware that they would lose their analog signals in 2009. No one seems to care that Congress decided this for us.

As a ham radio operator, I think that this is very bad for areas that have severe weather on a regular basis (Oklahoma, for one). We rely on those signals to get weather and disaster information along with our radio operations, and I just don't think digital signals are as dependable. Also, many people have small battery-operated handheld televisions that they use during these times (me, for one). They are relatively inexpensive and come in very handy when needed. So now they're going to produce digital televisions at, what, several hundred dollars apiece? Can you even run a digital set with batteries? Small and portable they're not. We also have television audio that is broadcast over AM and FM frequencies during emergencies--I don't even know if that's possible with a digital signal. My guess is not, unless it's converted to analog.

I guess the government is depending on this digital change to help patch up the economy. If everyone has to buy a converter box or a new set, that's a lot of money. And I can guarantee you that these frequencies will probably be sold to corporations at the highest dollar.
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zalinda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-21-08 08:00 PM
Response to Reply #29
37. And you do realize who is going to be most effected
those who can't afford to buy new TV's or have cable. They'll have to shell out an extra $30 if they want to watch their old TV, that is, if they can get the coupon. Yup, let's screw the poor people again. What a country!

zalinda
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KatyaR Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-21-08 08:00 PM
Response to Reply #37
38. And leave them less informed that ever--you bet!
n/t
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havocmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-21-08 07:36 PM
Response to Original message
31. They wanna be the boss of us. THEY control the picture.
Edited on Mon Jan-21-08 07:39 PM by havocmom
They are The Outer Limits.

Horror shows to life.

Any real evidence the TVs will watch us back? Am getting to the point that paranoids are making sense.

Edited to add: We were sorting some stuff in the basement. Havocdad grabbed his old short wave receiver and headed for the trash box with it. I screamed and made him dust that puppy off and put it on my top tool shelf! Times coming when we might wanna have those receivers handy. I want one of those hand crank radios too, do they make those in short wave receiver models?
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Nutmegger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-21-08 07:59 PM
Response to Original message
36. That's what I've been planning to do.
I don't have cable, and only watch CPTV. To me it's not worth spending extra $$$$$$$$$ for a damn converter box when I can watch the episodes on PBS.org. So I'll just "lose your signal" as the ad says and miss out on the goodness.
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Breeze54 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-21-08 08:05 PM
Response to Original message
39. The results of the 2000 & 2004 elections?
Edited on Mon Jan-21-08 08:06 PM by Breeze54
:shrug:

Oh wait. You said GOOD!!! :puke:

I am already boycotting cable, satellite and most of the local broadcast news.
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AZ Criminal JD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-21-08 08:05 PM
Response to Original message
40. Ethanol
If you drive you have to use it even though it is worthless.
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Laelth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-21-08 09:01 PM
Response to Original message
42. Um, auto insurance?
No, wait. I could choose not to drive I suppose. After all, public transportation here in the US is so awesome that not driving is actually a viable alternative for most of us. :sarcasm:

These days some Democrats are threatening to force me to buy health insurance (as if the insurance companies aren't rich enough). What country is this, anyway? I hardly recognize it.

I am sympathetic to the OP's frustration with FCC policy, but the government isn't actually forcing anyone to buy these receivers, and I have other issues that I'm dealing with at the moment. I'd like some health care, please.

BTW, at least one town has a law requiring all homeowners to own a gun. How's that for prioritizing our problems?

-Laelth

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hootinholler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-21-08 09:18 PM
Original message
You also don't hear
About being able to auction off additional bandwidth because digital signals can be broadcast much more narrowly than analog.

-Hoot
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leftofthedial Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-21-08 09:18 PM
Response to Original message
44. I thought this was a post about the Clinton healthcare (industry protection) plan
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Tierra_y_Libertad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-21-08 09:22 PM
Response to Original message
45. The Marine Crotch made me buy uniforms I didn't want.
But, I was able to fox them by using staples in appropriate places.
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Dawggie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-21-08 09:34 PM
Response to Original message
47. Car Insurance.
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dweller Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-21-08 10:36 PM
Response to Original message
49. and i thought the airwaves belonged to the people
when did we give that up?


VideoDrome is but around the corner. Be careful ... it bites.
dp
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Atman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-21-08 11:03 PM
Response to Reply #49
51. 600 Skee Ball tickets, good for a Kewpie doll or a Harley-Davison cig lighter!
No one in this thread seams to grasp that concept.

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unkachuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-21-08 10:57 PM
Response to Original message
50. I doubt....
....I'll even bother acquiring a converter box or buying a new TV....there simply isn't enough meaningful content on broadcast TV to get excited about....and I don't have cable either....I'm from the FREE TV generation....

....do I really need to watch I Love Lucy or Meet the Press on a hi-definition digital TV?....there is only so much resolution of john mclauglin's wrinkles a person can tolerate without overdosing....

....you're right, fuck 'em and their garbage programming/propaganda....
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autorank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-22-08 03:28 AM
Response to Original message
53. This shows how stupid "they" are.
People don't know that their Members of Congress signed them up to buy a bunch of new televisions or converters or whatever.

Internet folks are very good at spotting legislation setting out to screw them. they act on it and
the universal acclaim that the bill(s) had goes away. It's not that Congress avoids trying to ruin
the internet, trying to control it, it's just that they're caught and spanked for this.

But television is everywhere and there's no real interest group. In addition, the reason corporate
America buys up all the media outlets is to keep us in the dark.

This will backfire on them. Don't mess with people's tee vee. They'll find out why.


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Horse with no Name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-22-08 03:36 AM
Response to Original message
54. Holy mother of fuck I didn't know that
:wow:

"have the ability to pull the plug and shut down communication at a moment's notice, something which cannot be done with an over-the-air analog broadcast signal"

Is it fascism yet? :scared:
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NashVegas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-22-08 08:08 AM
Response to Reply #54
57. The EAS System Is the Same Thing
Local programming can be cut off in favor of FEMA programming.

It was the compromise made so that the NAB could get its wish - allow for 24 hour programming without the necessity of having a human on the premises.
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lonestarnot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-23-08 07:52 AM
Response to Reply #54
128. Are we having fun yet? Is it soup yet?
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-22-08 03:40 AM
Response to Original message
55. measles vaccines
but that's not really a consumer product, is it?

Lately, it seems like my rabbit ear reception has gone to heck. At first I thought it was just sunspots, but it has been that way for months now.
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-22-08 08:26 AM
Response to Original message
58. WHy do you say digital signals are easier to stop than analogue ones?
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ThomWV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-22-08 08:39 AM
Response to Reply #58
62. That was a mysterious statement, wasn't it?
I caught that one too? Does the author think that because something is 'digital' it must somehow pass through a large cable somewhere that is permanently staffed by Government goons with axes at the ready?
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IronLionZion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-22-08 01:14 PM
Response to Reply #62
68. Fascism is older than television.
If the government goons wanted to fuck with us, they wouldn't need any high-tech stuff at all.
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Atman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-22-08 03:31 PM
Response to Reply #62
87. I was mixing things up, sorry.
I was, in fact, thinking "cable" with that comment, but by the time it was pointed out my editing period had expired.

.
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EOTE Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-22-08 07:47 PM
Response to Reply #87
105. So, things aren't really that scary then?
Because if the government were able to interfere with digital signals far more easily than with analog signals, that would be something to worry about. But seeing as the bulk of your post has been debunked, I have to say that the only ones who should be worried are, in fact, technophobes and luddites.
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Atman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-22-08 09:25 PM
Response to Reply #105
116. I'd agree with you, except for that I don't.
The BULK of my post was debunked? You mean that one sentence? How about the GIST of my post, and the part about the advertisements on the tv claiming that the government is forcing this change on us because digital television has such a superior picture quality that we absolutely MUST have it? Did you miss that part of my post while you were composing your snark?

.
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onenote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-23-08 10:28 AM
Response to Reply #116
143. The bulk of the OP has been debunked
Edited on Wed Jan-23-08 10:37 AM by onenote
The author of the OP has admitted that the OP was incorrect in claiming that "real" reason for the digital transition is to give the govt the ability to pull the plug on tv and to faciliate DRM. But the author of the OP claims that nothing else in the OP has been debunked. Not so. TO review:

The "gist" of the OP is that the "only" message that the government is giving the public "ad nauseum" is that the digital transition is occurring because digital tv is so awesome, so much better.

Well, that's not what the government is saying, as has been pointed out. The FCC's website explains the DTV transition as having multiple benefits, starting off with making spectrum available for public safety and noting as well the improved picture and multicasting capabilities. (
http://www.dtv.gov/consumercorner.html#faq2

NTIA, the government agency in charge of the converter coupon program offers a shorter, but similar explanation on its website: " What is the digital television transition?At midnight on February 17, 2009, all full-power television stations in the United States will stop broadcasting in analog and switch to 100% digital broadcasting. Digital broadcasting promises to provide a clearer picture and more programming options and will free up airwaves for use by emergency responders."

As for the ads that the OP cites, I don't know precisely what ads are being referred to, but the suggestion that they are government-produced is wrong. To my knowledge there are no government produced television ads relating to the transition. The ads I've seen have either been produced by the National Cable and Telecommunications Assn or by the National Assoc. of Broadcasters. The cable ads, not surprisingly, focus principally on the fact that if you have cable, you don't need to worry about the transition. The NAB ads focus on the improved picture quality that comes with digital, which is hardly surprising since, from their perspective, the public safety etc. issues are not relevant -- all they care about is ensuring that they don't lose audience because of the transition.

I should add that these ads are being run voluntarily -- there is no government mandate for the broadcasters, cable, or consumer electronics manufacturers/retailers to run ads at this point. The FCC is considering a proposal that would impose a "consumer education" mandate on these industries, but has not yet adopted it. WHile something will be adopted relatively shortly, I suspect, the reason it hasn't come out yet is that there are concerns about the extent that the FCC, consistent with the First Amendment, can dictate to private business when and how they have to promote the digital transition.

So, basically, the OP has been debunked in large part. Other statements in this thread have also been debunked, such as the claim that the transition is a bushco plot (its origins date back to the formation of the Advanced Television Systems Committee in 1982; the legislation mandating the transition from analog to digital first was enacted in 1997; other countries, including Germany, Japan, and the UK, are all in the midst of their own digital transitions). Also debunked -- the claim that the reclaimed spectrum is being given away to big corporations. The only spectrum that is being "given away" is a portion of the spectrum that is being reallocated for use by public safety providers. Other portions of the reclaimed spectrum are being auctioned -- not given away -- with the proceeds of the auction largely added to the federal treasury (but with a portion earmarked for use in paying for the coupon program). Another bit of misinformation: the converter boxes will cost a lot of money. In fact, one manufacturer already has announced that its going to make the boxes available for $39.95 --- so they'll be free to consumers with coupons.

All of that being said, I should add that those posters (and I'm one of them) that have pointed out that the transition is likely to be a mess are almost certainly correct. The 90 day expiration period for the coupons and the inherent difficulty of communicating with those most in need of information about the transition: the poor, elderly and non-English speaking, guarantees that achieving a smooth transition is all but impossible.




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EOTE Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-23-08 10:34 AM
Response to Reply #143
146. Thank you onenote!
I didn't have the energy last night to go through the myriad issues I had with the OP, you did a quite thorough job. I'm as conspiratorial as the next guy (actually, much more so), but I just don't see anything terribly malicious here. We've lagged behind the rest of the industrial world long enough with regards to DTV, I thought it was about time we caught up.
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Atman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-23-08 11:10 AM
Response to Reply #146
149. Why would you thank him for lying?
He addresses several issues which I just never brought up, or he changes what I stated entirely in order to better make the point HE wants to make. For that, you thank him?

.
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Atman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-23-08 11:03 AM
Response to Reply #143
148. Please don't lie. The only disinformation now is your lies about my post.
Edited on Wed Jan-23-08 11:07 AM by Atman
What's in it for you? From your post...

"The "gist" of the OP is that the "only" message that the government is giving the public "ad nauseum" is that the digital transition is occurring because digital tv is so awesome, so much better."

That isn't what I stated at all, I referred to the specific ad running on cable television. It simply mentions NOTHING about ANY OTHER REASON FOR THE SWITCH other than the awesome picture quality of digital television. That's what it states. Of course, you had to put the word "only" in quotes because I never stated that the government was not providing any other information. That is a bald-faced lie. I just didn't say that. I referred to the ads running in heavy rotation on cable right now. If you can find one that discusses the bandwidth and emergency issues you've posted three times now, great. I'd love to see it. The fact that the ads are being run voluntarily doesn't mean they aren't being run! You don't deny that they say what I said they say, you just try to make it seem like it's not part of the discussion, when it is very much part of the discussion, because they were central points of my fucking post!

You seem oh-so-proud of your lies, too. "Also debunked -- the claim that the reclaimed spectrum is being given away to big corporations. The only spectrum that is being "given away" is a portion of the spectrum that is being reallocated for use by public safety providers." I said the bandwidth was being auctioned off. The fact that I called it a "give-away" to corporate contributors does not mean the "auctioned off" statement didn't exist! Jesus christ, man, did you honestly think I thought the government was going to hold an AUCTION but not actually charge any money??

Then there is the lie..."Another bit of misinformation: the converter boxes will cost a lot of money. In fact, one manufacturer already has announced that its going to make the boxes available for $39.95 --- so they'll be free to consumers with coupons." I stated the converters would cost $50-$70, not "a lot of money." Guess where I got the $50-$70 figure from? THE GODDAMN GOVERNMENT WEB SITE!

I just don't understand why you feel this is some sort of battle you must win by thumping your chest and blatantly LYING, even to the point of saying I've ignored your link even after I directly addressed it. Do you have some sort of mental problem? I'll gladly discuss my post on it's merits or lack thereof -- I corrected and apologized for my comment about being able to pull the plug, right? So it's not as if I'm just digging in my heals, as you appear to be doing. You're arguing with yourself, because I just didn't make the statements you're attributing to me.
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onenote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-23-08 11:33 AM
Response to Reply #148
153. Nice try. But the only lies here are from your keyboard.
Let's just focus on your words:

"I'm trying to think of any product in American history where the government said "This new product is just so damned good, you simply have to have it or else you can't have one at all...."


"The only message being repeated ad nauseam is that it's all being done because digital tv is so awesome, so much better...."

"Of course, there is no way they'd tell you why they REALLY are requiring you to go digital -- so that they can a) have the ability to pull the plug and shut down communication at a moment's notice, something which cannot be done with an over-the-air analog broadcast signal, and b) require DRM-like copy protection on your digital devices, as a stroke to their big-media contributors."

Now, for you to claim that you weren't suggesting that the government is engaged in a campaign to hide the reason for the transition is simply a lie. You were pinning on the government and all I did was point out (a) that the ads you cite aren't from the government and (b) the statements that the government is making about the reason for the transition don't focus only on the improved qualtiy of the picture. You can dance around it all you want, but you can't rebut it.


As for the rest of your post, I clearly indicated that I was addressing other contentions made in this thread, not just contentions in your OP. Sorry, if there is a lie here, its your claim that I was addressing something you wrote when I discussed these other matters.

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ThoughtCriminal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-22-08 08:38 AM
Response to Original message
61. Medicare, Social Security
I like those "products"
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Kazak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-22-08 08:43 AM
Response to Original message
63. Anyone recall the intro to The Outer Limits?
There is nothing wrong with your television set;
do not attempt to adjust the picture.
We are controlling transmission.
We will control the horizontal.
We will control the vertical.
We can change the focus to a soft blur.
Or sharpen it to crystal clarity.
For the next hour sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear.
You are about to participate in a great adventure.
You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind
to the Outer Limits


:shrug:
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lame54 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-22-08 01:15 PM
Response to Original message
69. GEORGE W. BUSH
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LanternWaste Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-22-08 01:16 PM
Response to Original message
70. The highway system.
The highway system. Trash pickup. Education. :shrug:
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DadOf2LittleAngels Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-22-08 01:17 PM
Response to Original message
71. ok here are some
Edited on Tue Jan-22-08 01:26 PM by DadOf2LittleAngels
In some states (and coming soon nationally) compact fluorescent Light bulbs
Cars that get a certain Gas Mileage
For people under 18 Non Alcoholic beer ;)
Certain Medications

"Really? Is that actually the reason? It's just so damn good that the government wants to make sure we don't miss out on its goodness? Are they fucking serious?"

Well no, the real reason is because the government manages the signals allowed to travel through the air and upgrading to HD signals is 'sort of' an infrastructure improvement.

"a) have the ability to pull the plug and shut down communication at a moment's notice, something which cannot be done with an over-the-air analog broadcast signal"

If you dont think the govt cant shut down a conventional signal as easily as an HDTV one your mad.. The technology is no more centrally controlled by the govt.

"b) require DRM-like copy protection on your digital devices, as a stroke to their big-media contributors."

Well in this you may have a point were it not for the fact you can go buy an HD antenna for your non HD tv and still use the same av capture devices as before.

"Oh, and we'll even give you $40 to buy a new converter box, another give-away to the industry. "

I viewed it as making sure those who are not of means will not have to go buy a new TV..
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bigbrother05 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-22-08 02:11 PM
Response to Original message
74. There will still be broadcast tv, just the large stations
Edited on Tue Jan-22-08 02:14 PM by bigbrother05
have to go digital. There are smaller, low power stations that service local communities that don't have to switch, but will be at a disadvantage with everyone using digital only sets. The $40 is considered the entry level cost of a stand alone box to convert digital to analog. It pretty much sucks that they were unable to come up with a new standard that would recognize the legacy system, but it is primarily due to bandwidth issues in the larger markets. Hope the $40 per box giveaway will be paid for from the fees charged for the old bandwidth to be relicensed.
edit to correct grammar
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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-22-08 02:31 PM
Response to Original message
76. vaccinations
of which the most recent was the yellow fever vaccination, mandated by the gov't of kenya, but it would have been mandated just as well by the usa if they didn't like where i'd been before i re-entered the country

there are lots of "mandatories" when it comes to medicine

agree it seems silly in the case of teevee but as i have no time for teevee and have the same one that has barely been turned on since 92 then i can't imagine i'll miss it either way

the main thing stopping me is i was considerably younger when i put the teevee up on its high platform and now i don't believe i could safely get it down, much less put another teevee in its place

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donheld Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-22-08 02:34 PM
Response to Original message
77. Clothes from the '70's
:D
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water Donating Member (504 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-22-08 02:35 PM
Response to Original message
79. To be honest, that's what all taxes are.
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goodgd_yall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-22-08 02:43 PM
Response to Original message
80. Only through planned obsolescence
If there's no alternative or the alternative is made very inconvenient, then, yes, I'm forces to buy whatever the new thing is. An historical example would be a local government making a deal with a company to rip up its tracks that used to provide a very efficient public transportation system. What is left for people is an inconvenient bus system or the purchase of a personal car.
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lumberjack_jeff Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-22-08 03:14 PM
Response to Original message
82. Auto insurance, a motorcycle helmet, seatbelts, airbags... n/t
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NMDemDist2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-22-08 03:23 PM
Response to Reply #82
84. don't forget we all pay for schools and firemen and policemen too n/t
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Atman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-22-08 03:30 PM
Response to Reply #82
86. None of those are apropos
No one told you you had to throw away your old car or install seat belts. As I pointed out up-thread, the government mandated that new cars have seat belts, but if you actually have a car that's so old it doesn't have seat belts, it's most likely registered as an antique and is exempt. As for helmets, they're not required everywhere, and what exactly were the intended to replace anyway? You're talking about safety features added to vehicles...why don't you add in brake lights and mirrors, too? They're required by law. You missed the point of my op. I have a perfectly fine, fully functioning 30 year old RCA 19" color TV. Still has a great picture. But the ad I referenced specifically and unequivocally states that "digital tv is so much better that the government wants you to switch by 2009." I haven't seen one person on this thread state any such thing, simply that the government is mandating it for bandwidth concerns and emergency response networks. What does that have to do with the claims the ads are making?

.
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lumberjack_jeff Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-22-08 05:48 PM
Response to Reply #86
98. Sorry, knee jerk on my part.
Mea culpa, I saw the subject and thought it was about the evils of universal (compulsory) medical insurance. :blush:

The deal with analog TV is that the fcc wants to reuse that frequency spectrum for more narrow-band stuff.

"digital tv is so much better..." Meh. It's marketing-ese.
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high density Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-22-08 07:53 PM
Response to Reply #86
107. Well, get one of the vouchers and continue using your 30 year old TV
That's what those coupons are for!! I have no doubt there will be some boxes that come in at or under the $40 coupon amount.

https://www.dtv2009.gov /


By the way, analog cellphone service is going away as well, but nobody seems to give a crap about that.
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onenote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-23-08 08:41 AM
Response to Reply #86
130. the government is pointing out both benefits: public safety use of spectrum and improved television
picture/multichannel capabilities.

I posted a link to the FCC's explanation, but you've just chosen to ignore it.

I'll repeat it for your convenience:
Why are we switching to DTV?

An important benefit of the switch to all-digital broadcasting is that it will free up parts of the valuable broadcast spectrum for public safety communications (such as police, fire departments, and rescue squads). Also, some of the spectrum will be auctioned to companies that will be able to provide consumers with more advanced wireless services (such as wireless broadband).

Consumers also benefit because digital broadcasting allows stations to offer improved picture and sound quality, and digital is much more efficient than analog. For example, rather than being limited to providing one analog program, a broadcaster is able to offer a super sharp high definition (HD) digital program or multiple standard definition (SD) digital programs simultaneously through a process called multicasting. Multicasting allows broadcast stations to offer several channels of digital programming at the same time, using the same amount of spectrum required for one analog program. So, for example, while a station broadcasting in analog on channel 7 is only able to offer viewers one program, a station broadcasting in digital on channel 7 can offer viewers one digital program on channel 7-1, a second digital program on channel 7-2, a third digital program on channel 7-3, and so on. This means more programming choices for viewers. Further, DTV can provide interactive video and data services that are not possible with analog technology.

http://www.dtv.gov/consumercorner.html#faq2
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Atman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-23-08 10:16 AM
Response to Reply #130
141. What the hell are you talking about?
Edited on Wed Jan-23-08 10:17 AM by Atman
Not only didn't I ignore it, I addressed it directly! You posted a link to the government web site in an attempt to tell me the ads I, along with many others in this thread, have seen with my own eyes. I never denied anything in the link you posted...it just has nothing to do with what is being stated in the advertisements!

:eyes:

.
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onenote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-23-08 10:31 AM
Response to Reply #141
144. and you have incorrectly claimed those ads are from the government. They're not.
The ads to which you refer are from the cable and broadcast industries and are not mandated by the government. The fact that broadcasters emphasize the improved picture quality and don't discuss the fact that the reclaimed spectrum is being used in part for public safety (and to generate revenue for the treasury) is hardly surprising since all the broadcasters care about is making sure that they don't lose audience.

You suggested that the government has been misstating the reasons for the transition. I pointed out that the government's statements about the reasons for the transition are not inaccurate and do not focus only on the improved quality of the pictures.

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Atman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-23-08 11:12 AM
Response to Reply #144
151. I did? You're lying again, and I'm going to call you on it.
From my OP...

"If you don't actually watch television you've likely missed the heavy-rotation advertisements running on many cable systems touting the new digital cable tv standard due to go online in 2009. The message doesn't simply say the standard is changing, the message says "Digital television is so much better than analog that the government is requiring all viewers to switch to digital television."

Hmmm...you read funny...you see things that aren't there. And then you lie about it. Not a good character trait, imho.

.
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onenote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-23-08 11:44 AM
Response to Reply #151
154. nope. I'm not.
You are dancing around the fact that the point of your post was that "there is no way they'd tell you why they REALLY are requiring you to go digital". The "they" to which you are referring is clearly the government -- their the only ones "requiring" the digital transition. And the ads you refer to aren't written by or produced by or paid by the government. And to there obviously is a "way" that the government would tell the public the reasons for the transition -- its posted prominently on their websites.

Live with your error. You're the one that made it.
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Atman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-23-08 11:58 AM
Response to Reply #154
156. Well, I do give you credit for one thing...
You sure chose the right screen name!

:eyes:

.
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onenote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-23-08 12:01 PM
Response to Reply #156
157. thanks. I'm not at all ashamed that accuracy is an obsession for me.
Wish there was more of it around DU.
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smalll Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-22-08 03:20 PM
Response to Original message
83. Take another rec -
this forced upgrade is lunacy.
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Desertrose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-22-08 03:24 PM
Response to Original message
85. R & kick
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TrogL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-22-08 03:35 PM
Response to Original message
88. The new twisty light bulbs
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-22-08 03:36 PM
Response to Original message
89. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
methinks2 Donating Member (894 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-22-08 04:35 PM
Response to Original message
90. Car Insurance
Look at what we all pay for Car Insurance nowadays! Because it's required, the companies can come up with some pretty crazy ways of upping your rates based on statistics and studies.
:banghead:
The latest is that they charge you more if you're having money troubles.
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Deep13 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-22-08 05:13 PM
Response to Original message
94. HD TV works just fine with rabbit ears.
In fact it seems to be designed with broadcast signals in mind. When a salesman demonstrated it, he actually had to switch off the cable in order to get an antenna signal. This was maybe two years ago. With the antenna it was very sharp.
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onenote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-22-08 05:22 PM
Response to Original message
96. automobiles
At some point the government decided that getting around via automobile was better than horsedrawn (or horseback)transportation, and if you had a horse (and/or a horsedrawn carriage), you basically couldn't use it anymore for transportation on public thoroughfares.

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robcon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-23-08 09:37 AM
Response to Reply #96
133. Nonsense. There a huge business of horse-drawn carriages in Manhattan.
n/t
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Sanctified Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-22-08 05:32 PM
Response to Original message
97. What about leaded Gas?
The Government is not forcing you to buy a new TV they are just saying your old one won't work for Public Television without a converter box.
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Dakini23 Donating Member (59 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-22-08 06:18 PM
Response to Original message
101. TV, the drug of the nation, spreading ignorance and feeding radiation.
n/t
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SalmonChantedEvening Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-22-08 06:34 PM
Response to Original message
102. Thai Stick. 1980. n/t
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pimpbot Donating Member (770 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-22-08 07:49 PM
Response to Original message
106. I enjoy my digital HDTV via over the air signals
Digital transmission has enabled broadcasters to transmit HDTV instead of crappy SD. By the way, it isnt just the US thats doing this. Its the entire world. New technology does have some good uses every now and then...
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mb7588a Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-22-08 07:56 PM
Response to Original message
109. I was forced to buy gin when Bush won in 2004. nt.
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high density Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-22-08 07:58 PM
Response to Original message
110. This thread is a prime example for the need for an "unrecommend" option
Edited on Tue Jan-22-08 07:58 PM by high density
Lots of FUD about nothing here.

https://www.dtv2009.gov
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Atman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-22-08 09:28 PM
Response to Reply #110
117. And you post a .gov URL as your source.
:eyes:

Yeah. Like BushCo is so reliable when it comes to telling us the straight story.

Did you even read my OP? Have you seen the ads running 24/7 on cable? So you're telling me that this is happening because the picture quality is SO AWESOME that the government doesn't want us to miss out? Are you really taking that position?

.
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Chomskyite Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-22-08 09:11 PM
Response to Original message
113. Yes I can
Social Security Insurance.
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I work for workers Donating Member (551 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-22-08 09:13 PM
Response to Original message
114. Is it bad that I thought this was going to be about health care?
And "new TV standard" was going to be my snappy answer?
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allalone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-23-08 03:49 AM
Response to Original message
122. help, I'm getting confused
my tv is 2006 model, my apt house has an antenna so I get only 6 stations. Am I gonna need a converter?
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Unca Jim Donating Member (405 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-23-08 07:27 AM
Response to Reply #122
125. No...
You'll be fine, because your TV is less than 8 years old.

Jeez people, technology advances and TV is not that big of a deal anymore.

I work for the public schools, and many people have been donating some very nice TVs they think they wont be able to use even though I tell them otherwise.

It will be easy enough to buy broadcast equipment that broadcasts on the new frequencies, by the way.
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onenote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-23-08 08:35 AM
Response to Reply #125
129. I disagree. There is a pretty good chance you'll need a converter
Edited on Wed Jan-23-08 08:37 AM by onenote
I don't know why it was suggested that if your set is less than 8 years old you'll be fine. Analog-only sets were still being sold as recently as last year.

In fact, the phase-in of the digital tuner mandate (the requirement that tv's have a built-in digital tuner) didn't start until mid-2005 -- less than three years ago. Under those rules, all televisions manufactured or imported into the US after July 1, 2005 with screen sizes of 36 inches or larger had to have a DTV tuner; the mandate extended to 25-36 inch sets as of July 1, 2006, and applied to sets 13-24 as of July 2007. And, again, this only is a requirement regarding the manufacture and importation of sets. Previously manufactured/imported sets that didn't have DTV tuners could still be sold. As of last year, retailers were required, however, to tell purchasers of such sets about the fact that they wouldn't work without a separate dtv tuner after 2/17/09.

So, while its possible that your set would work without a converter after 2/17/09, my bet is that it won't.


ON EDIT: If you are receiving programming through your apartment's "master antenna", your ability to use your set without a converter likely will depend on whether your apartment figures out a way to install a digital converter device that will then feed analog signals to all the units in the building. If so, then you won't need your own converter.
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Unca Jim Donating Member (405 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-23-08 07:36 AM
Response to Original message
126. A new product forced on us...
A new product forced on us that is a good analogy is unleaded gasoline. You could still use unleaded gas in your car that was originally designed for leaded gas, and the leaded gas was eventually phased out. Technology advances and things change. Broadcast Digital is overdue in this country, it's been working fine in other countries for years.

It's not like they're rounding up all the analog TVs and destroying them or making it impossible for people to use them, it's just that after 8 years of using both analog and digital signals, the analog signals are finally being phased out.

On the plus side, it makes free or cheap TVs available to poor folks as others upgrade.

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AngryAmish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-23-08 09:37 AM
Response to Original message
134. arab strap?
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Highway61 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-23-08 09:45 AM
Response to Original message
138. Right on!!!!!!
Great post...thank you. a big K & R
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Rabrrrrrr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-23-08 09:49 AM
Response to Original message
139. Unleaded gasoline, seatbelts, safely grounded appliances, specific wires and pipes and sewer systems
(electrical, plumbing, and sewage codes), EM/RF shielding on electrical stuff, vaccinations, headlights, windshield wipers, car exhaust cleaners... all just off the top of my head.

Not to mention the public stuff we're forced to buy: roads, textbooks, schools, government buildings, airports, national parks, military, and so on.
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Atman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-23-08 10:23 AM
Response to Reply #139
142. How do those things equate to your existing television?
My post didn't ask "What does the government force you to purchase." Read my op again. Were getting vaccinations all on your own just because you like injections and then the government said "We think you'll like this other vaccination even more, so we're going to mandate that you switch!"

That is what my post stated...There are ads running in heavy rotation on cable stating that the picture quality is so good that the government wants everyone to be able to experience it, and that is why we're switching to digital. Your examples simply don't have anything to do with such a scenerio.

.
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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-23-08 10:34 AM
Response to Original message
145. The fire department, the police department and public schools and libraries
Even if you don't use them, you pay. I think it's great.
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Atman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-23-08 11:19 AM
Response to Reply #145
152. What does that have to do with my post?
My post had no mention of taxes to pay for government services. They have absolutely nothing to do with the question I asked, which Onenote, especially, can't seem to grasp...

A much better analogy would be CD's vs. cassettes...did the government ever come out and say "CD's sound so much better than cassettes that we're stopping all production of cassettes."? No, market forces, consumers, made the ultimate decision as to what they preferred and cassettes simply died out.

Onenote is hung up on false assertion that I said the government was running ads, which simply isn't the case. I discussed the ads running on cable which claim the government is mandating the switch because it wants us all to be able to experience the great quality of digital tv. The ADS say it...you can see them yourself just by tuning into CNN or MSNBC for a couple of hours.

.
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Rabrrrrrr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-23-08 03:46 PM
Response to Reply #152
162. So if it isn't the government saying it, and it's only the ads others paid for, your point is moot.
Your tirade should be against the people who put up the ads, if you believe them to be false.
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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-24-08 12:12 AM
Response to Reply #152
167. Ok, sorry. Don't have either cable or TV, so didn't get the context n/t
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FourScore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-23-08 11:03 AM
Response to Original message
147. MTBE n/t
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Kansas Wyatt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-23-08 11:54 AM
Response to Original message
155. Corporate Government at it's finest shaking down...
'We The People' to give more money to Corporate America.

Everything has been turned into a RACKET, and our government is pushing and cheering it along.

It's time we pull out the tar and feathers, make a sweep on K-Street, then on to government offices that need to be painfully reminded who the Hell they work for.
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Ethereal DC Donating Member (1 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-23-08 05:49 PM
Response to Reply #155
163. I don't understand the relevance of this commercial to the topic.
The ads obviously aren't giving the official reason for this conversion, but that's okay because the ads aren't coming from the government, so you can't blame the government for these ads, can you?

The improved picture quality is a nice perk, but the real boons of converting to digital are without a doubt the capability to multi-cast and the amount of freed spectra. A good chunk of the freed spectra will go to wireless broadband internet access, which has the potential to make it cheaper and easier for people to access video and audio content online.

Accessing content that was traditionally television and radio content online is the future--and it's totally welcomed. You miss the pirate radio stations? Guess what? They're all online now. Even with digital conversion and the new stations being created by freed bandwidth, TV and radio are still linear mediums... they can only fit as much content as there are hours in the day. The internet is completely nonlinear and can hold virtually limitless content.

So, I guess my point is that we're going to see more and more spectra allocated to broadband internet as the century progresses and we'll see faster and faster internet access which will make convergence more and more possible. The conversion to digital is NOT the problem; it had to happen eventually--the fight is against the monopolization of bandwidth by a few corporations and against the regulation of internet content.
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Kansas Wyatt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-23-08 08:49 PM
Response to Reply #163
164. Can you still receive television signals over the air, just like now?
There are millions of people in this country receiving 'over the air' television signals, that have perfectly fine televisions. Is it fair to these people, since their programming consists off of funding by advertisements? And they have no need for a hundred channels, only a few. Now it's okay for these people to pay more, and be placed in closer jeopardy of being charged for television programming with the new technology.

Who the Hell is making money off of this? Who the Hell is regulating this? Do not tell me a spade isn't a spade, and Corporate America does not benefit from the U.S. Government letting 'We The People' take it up the ass to help Corporate America corral more people.
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bagrman Donating Member (889 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-23-08 10:20 PM
Response to Original message
166. Blow up your TV & eat peaches.
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