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About the U.S. switch to all digital telivision.

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So for the past couple days, all the local news stations in my town have been talking about the big switch to all digital television in the U.S. and how Best Buy pulled all of it's analog TVs off the shelf.

They have also been talking about how the government is going to offer two $40 coupons to get digital to analog converter boxes for those who still receive off air analog TV signals.

The news claims that over 60 million people are still receiving their TV signals from analog off air antennas. So that should make just over 60 million people who will want to get those $40 coupons.

Now me being the wannabe geek that I am, I browse sites like DailyTech, EggXpert, AnandTech and SlashDot every day. So this whole switch to all digital TV is nothing new to me. But I would be willing to bet that those who are still receiving standard analog off air TV signals are in a bit of a state of shock these past couple days. I would have to assume that most of those 60+ million people are not exactly on the cutting edge of technology, and this is most likely the first time they are hearing about it. While those people may feel slightly more at ease with getting the $40 coupons for the digital to analog converter, I would still be kinda ticked off once I learned that most converter boxes are going to cost somewhere between $50 and $100.

So that there is part of the mess that I am almost sure will ensue after Feb 1st 2008.

The other thing that occurred to me is this.

So we know that 60+ million people in the U.S. still receive their TV signals with off air analog antennas. What about the possibly millions of Americans who teeter on the edge of being able to afford digital cable or satellite TV?

What I am saying here is, while the government may be planning on issuing 60+ million of the $40 coupons, I think that their may be some 10 to 50 million more people who want the coupons and the converter boxes "just in case".

Come Jan when the government makes these coupons available, I believe they will be overloaded with request to get them, and for the first 6 months after the switch to all digital, we will find that there may still be some 20 to 40 million people who need the converter boxes, but are unable to get them because of hording and greediness by those who are just worried about the future.

Don't get me wrong here. I like the idea of the switch to all digital TV. I think it is even slightly noble of the government to offer these coupons, short of the actual price tag of the converter boxes that they may be. I just really think that the switch is going to be a real big mess for some time to come. Lawsuits may even come out of this from the people aimed at the government.

What are others thoughts on this?
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Major Payne

Major Payne

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According to my FCC Newsletter then change deadline is February 17, 2009, a deadline established by Congress.

For further information go to http://hraunfoss.fcc...OC-275624A1.doc

For the NPRM go to http://hraunfoss.fcc...CC-07-128A1.doc

To view the Appendix B go to http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-07-128A2.pdf

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