Friday, June 12, 2009

Digitial Dilemma? No.

So today is the day all the TV stations turn off their analog transmitters and fire up their new digital blow torches. Meaning, those of you who’ve been sucking your TV signal from the airwaves for free for all these years must now have a digital decoder to operate that old Farnsworth-tube box TV.

The FCC delayed the switch over for additional months, because they believed too many people hadn’t had time enough to make preparations; it’s estimated two million Americans are still not ready for today’s switch-over.

I’m thinking they’re going to figure it out.
Or they just don’t care.
And that’s fine.
You’ve had two entire communications industries—television and radio telecommunication—held hostage by a small group of technical Neanderthals. So if they like watching the Snow Channel today, more power to them.
I predict two things will happen as a result:
Cable prices are going to get more competitive.
Over the air digital TV allows existing stations to provide multiple streams of programming, so now there are nearly 40-different offerings in the ayer-a-ayer.
How many channels of TV do you really need?
Secondly, the hand wringing and nanny-government whining is finally going to come to an end. People who have not acquired digital converter boxes apparently don’t want them, so let them stew in their own analog juices, and the rest of us can get on with our digital lives.

For most of you, this has been a non-issue: If you’re already pumping televised garbage into your household via cable or satellite, it’s going to be business as usual at midnight tonight, when analog joins kerosene lanterns, washboards, and General Motors as relics of a time gone by.

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