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DIGITAL RANT

Hi. I’m Rick. I watch TV, and on occasion, I read the newspaper, or browse about on the intarwubs. I’ve been noticing something. On occasion, on network, broadcast television, they’ve been playing these “advertisments” or “public service announcements.” Surely you’ve seen them.

They say, essentially, that if you get network TV over the air (that is, not through cable or satellite), then you need to get a converter box for your current TV, or buy a TV with a digital tuner. You’ve had to have seen them.

Now, here’s the astonishing thing. Congress just finished passing an extension of the digital switchover date from February 17th to June 12th.

WHY?

The whole goddamned world knows that you can get a $40-off coupon to purchase a $50-$60 dollar converter box! And if you have cable, satellite, or a TV purchased in the last two years, you don’t even need one!

WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH THIS COUNTRY THAT WE HAVE TO ACCOMODATE THE 6 MILLION PEOPLE (they think) THAT ARE SO FUCKING LAZY THAT THEY PUT OFF BUYING A $20 BOX TO WATCH THEIR TV? IT’S BEEN COMING FOR YEARS! IF YOU DON’T GET SIGNAL ON THE 17TH, FUCK YOU. YOU DON’T MATTER. YOU’RE WASTING CONGRESS’ TIME AND TAXPAYER MONEY.

Update: I have included this. Says pretty much everything I said, except with less ranty-ness. Also, the 6 million figure is apparently households, not population. So the number affected is slightly higher. If, again, those numbers are to be believed.

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  1. Anonymous
    February 4, 2009 at 11:41 pm

    Considering that most of North America is in the midst a uniquely torrid winter that will assuredly take out power, interrupt services and school schedules, and halt general goings-on, I don’t think now is the time to put six million poor Americans out of reach of public service announcements and weather alerts.

    Just saying.

  2. Rick Cummings
    February 5, 2009 at 2:53 am

    You have a valid point. Consider, though:

    Radio
    Telephone
    Newspapers
    Internet
    Windows (actual windows, not the OS)

    It is unlikely that people will be so badly informed without television for a few days until they realize “Hey, maybe I should finally get one of these boxes they’ve been telling me I need for something like a year” that they are somehow negatively impacted by it. To shove the burden onto the rest of us, who are prepared for the well- (and in my opinion, nearly over-) publicized changeover is irresponsible. As is wasting Congress’ time pushing this legislation through.

    Incidentally, 6 million people (if this number is indeed accurate) is roughly 2% of the US population. Considering that most of the US population is in the densely populated eastern and western coasts, where weather is significantly milder, I don’t think a large swath of people would, in fact, be affected by a TV blackout that everyone knew was coming.

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