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"No we can't!"

February 17, 2009 -- this is a date that been burned into the memories of people across the United States. There have been numerous TV commercials talking about the switch and even local TV stations have gotten in on the act with their own infomercials on the switch from analog to digital TV (DTV) signals.

President-elect Obama and his transition team, however, have a different take on the DTV switch. The $1.34 billion USD fund that the federal government setup to provide American households with $40 DTV converter box coupons has been depleted. Because of the shortfall, there are currently 103,000 people on the waiting list to receive coupons according to USA Today.

John Podesta, Co-chair of the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition Team fired off a letter to Congress proclaiming that the funds provided for the coupon program were "woefully inadequate" and that the DTV switch should be pushed back.

"The government's programs to assist consumers through the upheaval of the conversion are inadequately funded," said Podesta. "There is insufficient support for the problems consumers (particularly low income, rural and elderly Americans) will experience as a result of the analog signal cutoff."

Podesta added, "With coupons unavailable, support and education insufficient, and the most vulnerable Americans exposed, I urge you to consider a change to the legislatively-mandated analog cutoff date."

Podesta also noted that a portion of Obama's Economic Recovery Package has additional funds necessary to provide additional coupons to Americans who have not yet received them, however, more time is needed to get the coupons into the hands of Americans that need them.

According to the Tampa Bay Business Journal, the February 17 cutoff date would leave 16 percent of America's nearly 115 million television households without TV service.

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well well.
By bobcpg on 1/8/2009 6:20:09 PM , Rating: 5
So much for "Change"...

RE: well well.
By Chiisuchianu on 1/8/2009 6:28:12 PM , Rating: 2
So true. I was going to log in just to say the same thing. This makes me pretty angry, I get really upset when there is any delay or problems with technological advancements.

RE: well well.
By adiposity on 1/8/2009 6:57:38 PM , Rating: 2
The advancement is already here. This relates to cutting off the legacy system. So who cares? All major broadcasters are ready for the HDTV switch, so it will hardly affect us. Of course I have cable anyway so I guess my vote isn't important.


RE: well well.
By rninneman on 1/8/2009 7:14:26 PM , Rating: 5
It delays the deployment of 4G networks that AT&T, Verizon et al. bought the 700MHz spectrum for.

RE: well well.
By quiksilvr on 1/9/2009 2:28:27 AM , Rating: 3
According to Tampa Bay? Florida ruins EVERYTHING! First the botched election in 2000 and now this!

RE: well well.
By Darkk on 1/8/2009 10:49:56 PM , Rating: 4
Trust me I want to get off of cable completely and rely on OTA HD channels for free. Problem is digital stations can't boost their power output yet until the analog stations shut their transmitters off. So I am not getting the channels I should be getting due to weak signals.

So another delay is not a good thing. We need to bite the bullet now and get it done. This will force people to "wake up" and get with the digital program.

RE: well well.
By The0ne on 1/9/2009 3:18:28 PM , Rating: 2
Same here. In fact, I get zero local channels due to weak signals and location. No OTA antennas will pull anything in, yet.

RE: well well.
By omnicronx on 1/12/2009 1:33:30 PM , Rating: 2
Do your current OTA channels come in clear? DTV is all or nothing, if all of your channels are not clear, (aka they have lots static or is a weak signal) don't expect them to work when DTV channels are moved to VHF and the signal power is increased. In fact I have already noticed that many channels in my area have already increased power, although they are still using UHF.

RE: well well.
By omnicronx on 1/12/2009 1:38:34 PM , Rating: 2
Problem is digital stations can't boost their power output yet until the analog stations shut their transmitters off.
Yes they can.. in fact many stations have been testing at full power for months now on and off. Its just not cost effective, and the channels still probably lie in the UHF band.

I say don't delay the shutdown and just keep old Analogue OTA channels and just switch the power output until all the rebates can be distributed. (I.e put DTV to full power and move Analogue OTA to lower power) This will not hamper the 700MHZ band which is still in testing and not ready for widespread deployment anyways. Anyone who can't live without TV can pay the 40 dollars, or live with the limited channel selection until they receive their rebate.

RE: well well.
By Mr Perfect on 1/9/2009 9:31:16 AM , Rating: 3
It's a Digital TV switch, not a High Definition TV switch. You can broadcast 480 as a digital signal too, and is carefully not mentioning what resolution will be used for DTV. They just say vague things like "Digital pictures will be free from the "ghosts" and "snow" that can affect analog transmissions".

It wouldn't be the least bit surprising if stations are throwing around digital 480i on the 17th.

RE: well well.
By mherlund on 1/9/2009 2:30:25 PM , Rating: 2
I think what he was saying is he can't receive the local HD channels because of a weak signal, not that the switch was going to make it HD.

RE: well well.
By omnicronx on 1/12/2009 1:42:35 PM , Rating: 2
Whats your point? You still need a converter box regardless of the resolution being output.
quote: is carefully not mentioning what resolution will be used for DTV.
I'm pretty sure if the channel has a Pay HDTV local channel (cable or sat) they are also required to output it in HD resolution via OTA. Only channels that are only broadcasting 480* will be able to get away with only transmitting 480i/p signal via DTV OTA.

RE: well well.
By PAPutzback on 1/9/2009 9:38:07 AM , Rating: 2
You are totally right. Here in Indianapolis CBS is on Frequency nine - HIGH VHF. My DB4 gets it but only at about 70%. I need my Mentalist dammit. Turn off the analog so I get my boosted HIGH VHF channels

RE: well well.
By Samus on 1/10/2009 4:06:48 AM , Rating: 2
My parents still don't have a convertor and they'll be damnned to buy one out of pocket with how little they watch TV. The whole thing is ridiculous. Make the transition when America is ready.

RE: well well.
By omnicronx on 1/12/2009 1:51:35 PM , Rating: 2
I've known about the approximate shutoff date for almost 4 years now, and they have been running commercials constantly for 2. If you are not ready for the transition, its nobodies fault but your own. The only people waiting for their rebate are those that waited until recently to submit for it.

You are not paying for OTA service, so I find your statement quite ridiculous. Proactive americans are ready, its those that ignored what was to come that are not, which once again is nobodies fault but their own. Being 'old' and 'out of touch' is not an excuse.

RE: well well.
By jimbojimbo on 1/13/2009 6:02:39 PM , Rating: 2
Some of our HD channels are broadcasting at a lower power than they will once they switch over. That means we'll continue to get cutouts every now and then whereas if we made the switch it will be a nice and strong signal. I can't get one channel at all and they're plan was to go to a UHF channel once they cutover. I've been hoping for the switch for a while now.

RE: well well.
By JonnyDough on 1/8/2009 7:37:23 PM , Rating: 2
TV is a privilege anyway. It IS for the rich. Why should the rich have to pay for the underprivileged to watch tv? We already pay for a lot social/assistance programs for them.

RE: well well.
By Tsuwamono on 1/8/09, Rating: -1
RE: well well.
By Master Kenobi on 1/8/2009 8:17:03 PM , Rating: 4
That he may be, but he is right. TV is a luxury good, not some sort of god given right.

RE: well well.
By masher2 on 1/8/2009 8:41:35 PM , Rating: 5
Hard to argue with that logic. Why the government should be helping to buy new TVs for "the poor" is beyond me.

Buy them some books instead-- I'd be all for that, especially if they were educational.

RE: well well.
By mcnabney on 1/8/2009 8:48:05 PM , Rating: 2
Do you even know what is going on?

The government is essentially 'bricking' every analog tuner in the nation. It has the responsibility to replace (through a free or extremely reduced cost digital tuner) what it is taking away. Besides - the government made tens of billions selling the spectrum that just three analog channels ran on.

RE: well well.
By Goty on 1/8/2009 8:58:26 PM , Rating: 5
I must have missed the TV clause in the Bill of Rights.

I have a suggestion for people who are losing their analog TV signals: GO OUTSIDE! It's not going to kill you.

RE: well well.
By nvalhalla on 1/9/2009 12:28:44 AM , Rating: 5
Get off it. It's not a "right" to own a TV, but I do have a right to property. For the government to come in and turn off my tuner and say "buy a new one" is wrong. That's why the coupons are offered. They are making a lot of money off of the transition, why should I have to foot the cost of new hardware so they can sell the spectrum again?

This isn't a matter of "The horse is outdated. Buy a car." If people were complaining that they weren't getting a new TV now that HDTV exists I would agree with you. The problem is that my perfectly good horse is getting a bullet to the head on Feb 17 by the government. I think they owe me some compensation. Especially when killing my horse nets them billions in income.

This being said, I think those who were going to switch will have by now and those who waited until the last minute will have to wait until more funds are freed from the analog sale before more coupons can be sent. This has been delayed enough times, Feb 17 should stay.

(for full disclosure, I don't own a TV right now and use the digital tuner in my computer to watch TV on occasion, but I speak for the many who are affected by this transition.)

RE: well well.
By BAFrayd on 1/9/2009 3:19:20 AM , Rating: 4
You shouldn't have to "foot the cost"? Where do you think the money the government is using to pay for this is coming from? Unless you pay no taxes, YOU are paying for it.
In case no one has noticed, the government is broke and has been for years. The last thing they should be taking out another loan for, is something as frivolous as DTV converters. It's foolish economic policies like this that have gotten us into a 10 trillion dollar national debt.
BTW, you only speak for yourself.

RE: well well.
By nvalhalla on 1/9/2009 3:39:56 AM , Rating: 3
I THINK the money comes from the 20 Billion dollars they made selling the analog space to AT&T and the like. Pretty sure it's not my tax dollars.

RE: well well.
By othercents on 1/9/2009 11:02:51 AM , Rating: 3
The money has already been spent and maybe there will be more, but I don't see why we have to wait to make the transition when there are people who are too lazy to get off the couch and get a DTV converter box when they had the chance.


RE: well well.
By MikeMurphy on 1/9/2009 12:33:42 PM , Rating: 2
103,000 people are still waiting for their $40 coupons? Did anyone do the math on this?

The resulting shorfall is only $4,120,000.

So whats the real story?

RE: well well.
By 16nm on 1/9/2009 2:36:46 PM , Rating: 2
I wish I had only $4,120,000!

RE: well well.
By foolsgambit11 on 1/9/2009 8:11:22 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, that's only 0.3% of the original amount. How does that qualify as 'woefully inadequate', as Podesta put it? Sure, there will be some overhead with getting the money out there, but still, we're not talking about a massive funding shortfall. Nor are we talking about a major problem.

Rather than put off the transition while we spool up another program, why not pledge to create a reimbursement program so people can buy the $40 devices and turn in the receipt for a refund once the money is available? I understand some people won't be able to afford $40 for a converter box immediately, but this is still the best compromise at this juncture. The transition really has to go through on schedule. Besides, the Congress has much bigger things to worry about in the next month than passing legislation about TV.

RE: well well.
By Alexstarfire on 1/9/2009 5:30:30 AM , Rating: 1
That is some pretty stupid logic. I guess we should all get up in arms when something old stops being produced then. Hell, why can't I still buy an engine and new tires for my Model T? If they were physically removing your TV... then I'd have a problem with that. They can't just take something that isn't theirs. That being said, you're the one getting free OTA TV. Why you gonna complain when you lose something that's free? You're the typical American, assuming that anyways based on your comments, that always thinks they are entitled to something. They aren't making your TV completely useless so get over it already.

RE: well well.
By Ard on 1/9/2009 10:33:02 AM , Rating: 2
No, it's not stupid logic. What he's describing is completely analogous to the idea that the government cannot seize/condemn your land/property without just compensation (or a very damn good reason why just compensation should not be afforded). They don't have to physically take anything for the right to be impacted. It can also be a constructive taking, which is what we have here.

As was stated, the DTV switch obsoletes millions of televisions. The government, in effect, is condemning millions of pieces of property. The least they can do is provide a means (the coupon) for people to regain their now obsolete (through no fault of their own) property. This isn't about some product that was EoLed, it's about a product that would work fine if not for government interference.

RE: well well.
By superflex on 1/9/2009 1:10:35 PM , Rating: 2
The govt didn't give me a coupon for a new phone when they mandated cell providers switch from analog to digital signals. Why should the TV switch be different?
Stoopid liberals.

RE: well well.
By foolsgambit11 on 1/9/2009 8:16:49 PM , Rating: 2
Um, the transition program was established in early 2006. The Republicans controlled Congress then.

RE: well well.
By Jimbo1234 on 1/9/2009 9:37:36 PM , Rating: 2
TVs are used for news, weather, etc. It is a means by which emergency broadcasts can be spread. Granted, a radio does that too. Your cell phone? No, it doesn't.

RE: well well.
By DrKlahn on 1/9/2009 1:49:13 PM , Rating: 2
So what contract from the Federal Government did you receive with your TV that stated you would be assured free off air programming that your tuner could receive? You didn't. You weren't promised this service. Your TV continues to function for other uses. You aren't entitled to any features your TV did not come with. You can however empower yourself to be educated about the impact this has and take steps not be affected by this change. Ultimately it is your responsibility as an adult to do so, not the Governments.

This change is going to be hard no matter how long you wait. There have been tickers running on channels for months. Signs in stores. Educational shows on Public Television. There will always be someone that can't be bothered to pay attention and plan for it. At some point you simply must go forward.

RE: well well.
By nafhan on 1/9/2009 8:24:20 AM , Rating: 4
That's kind of like saying we need to protect the rights of people that would like to ride horse's on the Interstate...

SDTV's are still going to work just fine with cable, DVD players, and game systems. No SDTV's are disappearing. The government (and others) just feel that the greater public good will be served by reallocating the frequencies used by analog TV.

Anyway, they need to go ahead and just make the switch. I would be willing to bet a large portion of those still relying on analog OTA won't do anything until they stop receiving a TV signal. Give them a few weeks or another year, it won't make a difference.

RE: well well.
By jlips6 on 1/9/2009 5:40:26 PM , Rating: 2
they were too busy watching "dwelling".

Hugh Laurie hadn't been born yet.

RE: well well.
By meepstone on 1/9/2009 11:59:34 AM , Rating: 2
Our government is in severe debt and you want them to continue to fund every retard for every penny they need want to spend.

RE: well well.
By barrychuck on 1/9/2009 2:13:16 PM , Rating: 2
No, No, No! The FCC sold the wasted bandwith the analog TV channels take up. The legacy TV channels are horrible space hogs as they are backwards compatible with old tube(pre-transister) tvs. Think of the airwaves as a multilane highway, but you have to have an extra space (think median) between the lanes. Analog TV lanes are 20 feet wide (normal lane is 10) and need a 10 ft wide median between each channel. Modern DTV singal is a lane 1 ft wide and only requires a 1/2 ft median. This is just a rough visual example for people who don't understand RF.

RE: well well.
By RamarC on 1/8/2009 8:58:15 PM , Rating: 3
first, the converter coupon is not for the poor... it's for anyone. TVs with digital tuners are still in the minority especially in households headed by folks 50+. (if not for cable/satellite, two thirds of all households would be losing TV.) the converters were offered because the change to digital was forced on consumers and not by changes in the marketplace.

and since only free over-the-air tv is affected, 18M lost viewers will affect tv ratings and ad revenue of some very large companies in the US (including GE, parent of NBC/Universal).

RE: well well.
By JonnyDough on 1/8/2009 10:26:01 PM , Rating: 2
We know this. The point is that "anyone" bought a tv, and therefore "anyone" can afford to pay a bit to use it. It is not the responsibility of the government to ensure that everyone can afford to view the's the responsibility of the government to oversee how the bandwidth is distributed and make it available.

Technically, television broadcasts are paid for by consumers through marketing (ads)...and the physical television set itself is a product. Therefore, if you buy a product and pay for advertising, is it too much to ask that you also pay for the service which pays for itself? Essentially, you're just continuing the loop. Why should ALL TAXPAYERS pay for your television to work? Should that not be a choice? If you were starving, I'd offer you assistance through government taxation and food stamps. But this is not a NECESSITY. It's a LUXURY. Hence, my original post - which a few people obviously did not understand. Maybe there are just too many MTV-raised crack babies surfing the internets these days. Hold on, I have to give my kid $5 so he can run down to the 711 and get himself some dinner. Yes, that was sarcasm.

RE: well well.
By jjmcubed on 1/8/2009 11:39:58 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe you don't understand that the DTV converter fund was paid for by the Billions from the sale of the analog spectrum.

RE: well well.
By JonnyDough on 1/9/2009 2:54:11 AM , Rating: 2
So why not use those billions for funding education or building us roads? Why not use those billions to do away with tolls, or lower gas tax? Then people will be able to buy their own DTV converter boxes. :-)

RE: well well.
By BAFrayd on 1/9/2009 3:21:29 AM , Rating: 3
Stop it Johnny, you're making too much sense.

RE: well well.
By goz314 on 1/9/2009 7:19:12 PM , Rating: 2
Actually all of those excess billions from the sale of the analog TV broadcasting spectrum are probably going towards paying the interest on the national debt or towards the defense department to pay for the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. I wish it were going towards education and infrastructure projects.

RE: well well.
By JonnyDough on 1/11/2009 4:49:59 AM , Rating: 2
Paying interest on national debt. ROFL! That's a good one. Hahahaha! As if.

RE: well well.
By JonnyDough on 1/8/2009 10:16:13 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure how I was being a prick. I myself drive an old beat up Mercury Topaz and rent a house. I'm pretty sure though that I'm still considered "rich" by most human inhabitants of earth.

RE: well well.
By JonnyDough on 1/8/2009 10:27:30 PM , Rating: 2
Luxury : Necessity.

RE: well well.
By Nfarce on 1/8/2009 11:12:34 PM , Rating: 2
It's called the painful truth and getting one's head out of the sand. We've had 40 years worth of addressing the underprivileged with taxpayer funded handouts now, and look how that has turned out: more generations of the underclass.

RE: well well.
By FITCamaro on 1/8/09, Rating: 0
RE: well well.
By Lord 666 on 1/8/09, Rating: 0
RE: well well.
By blowfish on 1/9/2009 12:48:57 AM , Rating: 2
You crack me up Fit!

It's pin money!

Compare it with the $700BN bailout for the financial f$%kw*&ts, the $50BN Madoff scam, the cost of the Iraq war, or all the money pumped into Afghanistan both now and to "the other side" that started the whole fundamentalist ball rolling when the Russians "invaded". It's a joke!

It would probably be better if the "poor people" (nice one Kenobi!) watched less TV anyway - after all it's at least 30% commercials over here, and total garbage.

RE: well well.
By Dreifort on 1/9/2009 9:41:42 AM , Rating: 2
They supply everyone with "free" converter boxes to meet the new digital TV format the gov't delcared would be the only available format by

Next, after the free wifi is put into place, they will have to provide the whole country with "coupons" to get free laptops to surf on the free internet.

But since this new "free" wifi will actually be wimax, they will then need to generate more "coupons" for the whole country to use to by wimax receivers.

In the end, everyone will be right back where they started - on analog TV signals (via wimax).

RE: well well.
By MAIA on 1/8/2009 8:28:36 PM , Rating: 5
So much for "Change"...

Well, they changed the dates didn't they ?

RE: well well.
By jimbojimbo on 1/13/2009 6:02:36 PM , Rating: 2
and I'm sure they'll do it again.

First off...
By cscpianoman on 1/8/2009 6:21:04 PM , Rating: 5
No, they should not delay the deadline. The reasons are simple:

1)Not everyone will have a convertor/new TV no matter what you do. There will be a continuation of delays and it will ultimately never happen/cost more.It, also, might actually get some lazy bums off their back sides if they lose their OTA signals, or they already have cable/sat to begin with.

2)Wasn't the whole coupon thing until funds ran out anyway?

3)Now that the gov't isn't supplying coupons the price on the convertor boxes, instead of being $60 minus the $40 coupon will drop to $15. The whole reason they are $60 now is because the companies know they can steal it from the gov't.

4)DTV is infinitely better, the sooner we get there the happier we all will be. Besides, I'm sick of the commercials, aren't you?

RE: First off...
By Diosjenin on 1/8/2009 6:58:21 PM , Rating: 1
5)Many, many Americans will probably spring for a new television rather than buy a converter box, thus putting money into high-end electronics and boosting a fairly precariously situated segment of a weakened economy.

RE: First off...
By Ryanman on 1/9/2009 8:47:01 AM , Rating: 5
6) Getting 16% of the populace off television for a brief time would do more for our country than anything Obama could possibly dream up.

RE: First off...
By jimbojimbo on 1/13/2009 6:05:53 PM , Rating: 2
But he got voted into office by the very people that just sit around all day and watch TV and collect their gov benefits. Democrats rely on those voters and they pander to them all the time.

RE: First off...
By adiposity on 1/8/2009 6:59:51 PM , Rating: 2
1. Agreed

2. Yes, but if it was too little then should we just accept that the govt. is forcing people to spend money?

3. Agreed

4. Lol, yes, for the sake of the commercials, I support flipping the switch now.


RE: First off...
By akdbs3710 on 1/8/2009 10:05:03 PM , Rating: 2
I think that you guys are missing the bigger picture. If some of Obama's constituents (i.e. poor;/elderly) aren't watching TV, then he (and his Party) will lose donations and have a difficult time getting their "message" out.

RE: First off...
By Spivonious on 1/9/2009 8:26:52 AM , Rating: 2
He's already elected. I doubt people will remember "He didn't give me a discounted digital tuner box" four years from now.

RE: First off...
By jimbojimbo on 1/13/2009 6:09:16 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, he's already been elected so he's already started raising money for the re-election. That's all politicians do. They spend their entire term raising money so they can run for office again.

RE: First off...
By goz314 on 1/9/2009 7:23:34 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, most of the truly poor don't even have television sets. Oh, and they also traditionally don't vote or make political contributions.

So much for your communicating with the "constituents" comment.

RE: First off...
By marvdmartian on 1/9/2009 10:25:48 AM , Rating: 5
Here's a better idea. Tell the people that procrastinated that if they want a converter box, they now have to pay full price, then send in a mail in rebate to the government, and wait 8 to 12 weeks to get their $40 rebate.

That ought to teach them a lesson, eh? ;)

RE: First off...
By grandpope on 1/13/2009 11:55:10 AM , Rating: 2
marvdmartian for President in 2012!!

This is *!@#ing ridiculous.
By thebrown13 on 1/8/09, Rating: 0
RE: This is *!@#ing ridiculous.
By jjmcubed on 1/9/2009 12:13:53 AM , Rating: 3
I'm one of the ones using analog as I'm disabled and my wife lost her job six months ago. Watching her test almost daily lately for jobs and not getting a bite isn't making me wish to spend money on a converter. She has a degree and her last job she was there almost ten years. There just isn't much out there.

I couldn't find the final number in searching google, but the dtv converter fund was 1.34 billion while the sale of the spectrum was supposed to raise a MINIMUM of 10 - 15 Billion. The FCC has set a minimum price of $10 billion for five blocks of 1099 licenses alone. We can't use alittle more of 10 billion (minimum) to help more families?

Reading comments on Dailytech everyday for the past couple of years, I can honestly say this is one of the few times I've been astonished by the reactions of most of the comments.

Oh and after further searching I come across

Notice the $18,957,582,150 as the final bid mentioned.

RE: This is *!@#ing ridiculous.
By Spuke on 1/9/2009 6:39:12 PM , Rating: 1
Your disabled and your wife is out of a job and you're worried about your TV?

RE: This is *!@#ing ridiculous.
By goz314 on 1/9/2009 7:04:37 PM , Rating: 3
Don't rush to judgement about others and their intentions unless you have walked a mile in their shoes.

RE: This is *!@#ing ridiculous.
By diggernash on 1/9/2009 7:25:48 PM , Rating: 1
I watched a girl go through Georgia Tech with no arms, she typed all her work with her feet. Was she disabled?

I watched a ninety year old man go to work at his ice business everyday for 8+ hours, pulling his oxygen tank behind him. Was he disabled?

I've watched supposedly disabled children play on a play ground while expending twice the energy of the healthy kids because of how difficult just being moving is to them. Are they disabled?

All of these could have been "disabled", but they didn't allow it. If I'm breathing, can type, and can comprehend what I am typing; I should be working. Unless I have previously accumulated wealth that I am willing to use to live off of. No excuse to vampire the citizens that are working.

We are becoming a country well versed in explaining why we can't do something because of our ailments, instead of doing something in spite of our ailments.

RE: This is *!@#ing ridiculous.
By Jedi2155 on 1/10/2009 3:45:54 PM , Rating: 1
That is well said! I agree that a lot of people are using "excuses" to get their way, when it is possible that many of them do not "need" it. I don't have a clue as to the numbers but that is just my opinion...that America is being brought down by the weak.

RE: This is *!@#ing ridiculous.
By jjmcubed on 1/11/2009 1:38:13 AM , Rating: 3
I'm using excuses? LOL I am not sorry for who I am. Stop pretending you know anything about me except I agree that from the $20+ billion they are getting for bricking TV's across America, they should help people that can't afford to upgrade. :)

RE: This is *!@#ing ridiculous.
By jjmcubed on 1/11/2009 1:29:54 AM , Rating: 3
Your disabled and your wife is out of a job and you're worried about your TV?

Not in the least bit... The comment was to the person that basically said f*&^ the people using analog, so f&^% me I guess. I don't have the ability to go out and get a higher paying job(right now), and my wife is consumed by getting a job. Mostly what concerns me is the lack of compassion in the comments I read in this post. I've never seen that in dailytech before. Your pigeon holed me from one comment on one post on one website. Good job!!

RE: This is *!@#ing ridiculous.
By jimbojimbo on 1/13/2009 6:15:20 PM , Rating: 2
If they can't watct TV it'll cut down on their electricity bill thus helping them out. What's the problem again?

By foolsgambit11 on 1/9/2009 8:27:06 PM , Rating: 2
I'd imagine that the rest of that $18 billion is being used 'to help more families'. But not to help them get more TV. It's used to fund other essential roles of government. Roles that help families, like national security, infrastructure development, and social programs.

Given a choice of how the government could spend a billion dollars, or 18 billion dollars, I would choose almost anything before I chose buying DTV converter boxes for people. It's debatable whether that helps families at all, but at the least, there are hundreds of better ways to help families with that money

RE: This is *!@#ing ridiculous.
By TreeDude62 on 1/12/2009 11:50:56 AM , Rating: 2
This is seriously the first time you have been surprised by the reactions here? There are a few frequent posters here that I can think of whose IQ is less than the cost of one of these converters.

RE: This is *!@#ing ridiculous.
By superflex on 1/9/09, Rating: 0
Flash News: 1-MAR-2009
By Curelom on 1/8/2009 6:32:04 PM , Rating: 3
Flash 3/1/2009: thousands of people have died over the past week for their lack of TV. Obama quips he told us so and immediatly requested an ammendment to the declaration of independence to include life, liberty, and the pursuit of a TV.

Complete rubbish. We're talking TVs, not food or shelter.

RE: Flash News: 1-MAR-2009
By ghost101 on 1/9/2009 2:14:12 AM , Rating: 2
Apart from the ammendment talk, this is easily possible.

Look around the world and see what public service broadcasting does. In India TV is used to spread awareness about simple healthcare such as awareness about AIDS. Recently Bangladesh had an election and the only reason poor people were able to make even a slightly informed vote was because of TV. In Indonesia an earthquake happened and again TV was used to give a tsunami warning.

The US has a massively televised democratic system. I truly wonder how much of the population could go to the voting booth and actually cast a vote which isn't at random without access to TV. Of course there are newspapers but what does a years supply of decent national newspapers cost?

I wonder in the case of a nuclear attack how people will be told to take defensive actions? Or do all poor people get to die from nuclear fallout? Obviously this is an extremely unnlikely scenario, but it is one with massive repurcussions if it isn't planned for. During the Cold War for example, throughout Western Europe, TV was the means to educate people on safety procedures were something like this to happen. Even a conventional war will need communication with the people of the United States.

RE: Flash News: 1-MAR-2009
By Curelom on 1/9/2009 10:51:40 AM , Rating: 2
Have you ever heard of a thing called radio?

RE: Flash News: 1-MAR-2009
By Kenenniah on 1/9/2009 1:24:22 PM , Rating: 3
Actually, I'd prefer people randomly voting instead of blindly listening to and believing what television political ads and the media have to say.

RE: Flash News: 1-MAR-2009
By goz314 on 1/9/2009 6:59:04 PM , Rating: 2
Blindly voting without any information is just as irresponsible and redarded and not voting at all.

Don't you understand the basic truth that just because you would choose to ignore your government, your government doesn't have to ignore you. Taking one's responsibility as a citizen in a democracy as lightly as you advocate is a sure fire path to totalitarianism.

RE: Flash News: 1-MAR-2009
By Kenenniah on 1/14/2009 8:03:06 AM , Rating: 2
That made me laugh. Reading comprehension is a lost art these days apparently. Nowhere did I advocate ignoring government or taking democracy lightly. What I said was (here I'll emphacize it for you) BLINDLY listening to political ads and the media is what I'm against. Political ads etc. are full of lies and innuendo, and in many cases make people less informed because the information isn't correct. Just take a look at how many people responded to polls that they thought Obama was a Muslim.

With just a little thought, you would realize that my post was attacking how little many people do pay attention. It's attacking the fact that so many people in this country just listen to what their TV says instead of thinking for themselves and actually doing some research. What I want, is for people to do the work and vote on credible researched knowledge. If however it's a choice between a mindless TV drone that handed his brain over to the media or a monkey, I'll choose the monkey.

RE: Flash News: 1-MAR-2009
By Spuke on 1/9/2009 6:31:28 PM , Rating: 2
Or do all poor people get to die from nuclear fallout?
Someone's got to die. We can't ALL live.

Maybe I'm cynical
By chmilz on 1/8/2009 6:20:44 PM , Rating: 5
But if you don't want to or can't fork over the $40 or $70 or whatever for TV, then do you really NEED television?

RE: Maybe I'm cynical
By Reclaimer77 on 1/8/2009 6:30:29 PM , Rating: 2
My sentiments exactly.

Give me a break. Who can't afford a convert box ? And I would think if you are poor or elderly on a fixed income and can't manage a converter box, then you have bigger problems.

RE: Maybe I'm cynical
By mcnabney on 1/8/2009 8:51:29 PM , Rating: 4
People already have the TV. If I came into your house and deactivated whatever tuner you use to watch TV do you think you would be a little upset?

RE: Maybe I'm cynical
By Alexstarfire on 1/9/09, Rating: 0
RE: Maybe I'm cynical
By jimbojimbo on 1/13/2009 6:17:53 PM , Rating: 2
I'd be upset if you did it out of the blue. But if you gave me a couple of years warning that you were going to do it at a certain date, I wouldn't give a damn.

RE: Maybe I'm cynical
By Jedi2155 on 1/8/2009 9:07:25 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly instead watching TV (which I doubt has very much education content in it) they could be mowing lawns or better yet, dig through the trash to recycle some cans! Plus save the environment doing it!

By HostileEffect on 1/8/2009 6:22:48 PM , Rating: 2
Now the US government is paying for private citizens TV upgrades?

By TheSpaniard on 1/8/2009 7:03:04 PM , Rating: 3
not TV upgrades... this is not a rebate to buy a new tv but to convert dtv into an analog signal so they can continue to use that cathode ray tv that has refused to die for the better part of a century

By foolsgambit11 on 1/9/2009 8:32:59 PM , Rating: 2
That's an upgrade, too. You're taking a TV and upgrading its capability to include digital signals. 'Upgrade' has two meanings, both 'replace with something superior' and 'make something superior'.

By jimbojimbo on 1/13/2009 6:18:58 PM , Rating: 2
In the digital range you get a lot more channels too. I'd say that's an upgrade.

By TheSpaniard on 1/23/2009 11:21:57 AM , Rating: 2
I was thinking of an upgrade as:

26" CRT to a 26" plasma

I think that would be a heck of an upgrade! they should let us apply the checks to that!

How many are needed
By djc208 on 1/8/2009 6:20:14 PM , Rating: 5
How many of those 103,000 people actually need one and didn't just sign up because they could?

Truth is you could probably wait 10 years and there will still be people running around complaining about why their TV stopped working, or wondering if it will, despite the constant barrage of media on the subject.

At some point you just need to throw the switch and let the people who didn't plan properly deal with it. Of course I say the same of the housing market too.

RE: How many are needed
By rikulus on 1/9/2009 9:01:39 AM , Rating: 4
The same thing went through my mind exactly.

Also... if there are 103,000 people who didn't get a coupon yet, that's $4,120,000, right? If they allocated $1.34 BILLION, then they are short by 0.3%? They make it sound like it's woefully underfunded, this is a drop in the bucket! If it's a matter of timing, these people should have applied earlier, now they'll have to wait a little bit. At least it will be after the Superbowl, right?

By GreyHobbyHorse on 1/8/09, Rating: 0
RE: Gee
By pwnsweet on 1/8/09, Rating: 0
RE: Gee
By Titanius on 1/9/2009 9:43:07 AM , Rating: 3
No the main problem is there are too many idiots in the world, not too many humans (but I guess if you take it as let's eliminate the idiots, we would loose a very big percentage and even out the world in a way that there is less people, ah well).

If you ever looked around, and thought: "Could this be true? Is there that many idiots in the world today?" Well I am here to answer your question: "Yes, yes there is." And its not just in one country either, there are huge populations of idiots worldwide.

I am in Canada, and I watch TV...a lot. And do you know what I see more often than any other kind of commercial? The DTV switch commercials; I've seen them so many times that I can recite them all by heart (well all the ones I've seen). So when Americans tell me that they haven't seen those commercials, I will say something like: "You don't have a TV, do you?" Or "Ok so you mean to tell me you watch all that TV and you have never ever seen those commercials even once?" And that's where I start to think about some things, like you mean to tell me these people have TVs and they say they never seen these commercials, THAT IS IMPOSSIBLE!!! If I am in Canada and see these commercials as often as I've seen them, you Americans should be tired of seeing them, not denying they exist.

And I believe in TV being a luxury, not a necessity, those that say that in case of emergencies where will they tune to? In the case of an emergency, TV will not help you and you are an hypocrite to even believe that TV is a necessity for getting emergency info. Get a F***ing radio! That is what you need for emergencies.

And like previously stated, why should people complain about a service they get for free? If a Cable company or Satellite company ever did something like that, I would have every right to complain as I am paying for this, but OTA? HAHAHA!!! Wake up, get out, see the world for what it is, stop the idiots, they run everything, take them out, eliminate them, and stop this mindless bickering about unimportant things, and live your life.

That was my 2 cents.

RE: Gee
By BrockSamson on 1/9/2009 10:03:05 AM , Rating: 2
If you ever looked around, and thought: "Could this be true? Is there that many idiots in the world today?" Well I am here to answer your question: "Yes, yes there is." And its not just in one country either, there are huge populations of idiots worldwide.

The amount of spelling an grammar errors in that paragraph make it delightfully amusing. I thank you for the laughs even though I'm quite sure that you had a different intention with your post.

RE: Gee
By Titanius on 1/9/2009 12:53:55 PM , Rating: 2
Yes that was my intention on being grammatically incorrect. Kind of like you would speak not write. And by the looks of your post, I would say you have read between the lines correctly.

RE: Gee
By jimbojimbo on 1/13/2009 6:21:07 PM , Rating: 2
People are getting dumber and dumber yet they are still allowed to vote. That's why we're getting crappier and crappier people in office every election.

Change lol
By Chiisuchianu on 1/8/2009 6:30:41 PM , Rating: 5
I think the government should have never given these coupons out to begin with.

RE: Change lol
By Fanon on 1/8/09, Rating: -1
RE: Change lol
By jjmcubed on 1/8/2009 11:47:54 PM , Rating: 1
Of course not!! They should have just bricked every non digital tv in america. In my large family (counting aunts, uncles, cousins, inlaws) of 24 families, that would be all except two. They should have just switched over and never told anyone. That would teach the people watching free tv!


RE: Change lol
By wempa on 1/9/2009 12:50:13 PM , Rating: 2
So, does that mean that if I buy a video game system and they stop making games for it that I am entitled to some sort of compensation ? How about the people that bought HD-DVD players which are now obsolete ? When you bought a TV, nowhere did it say that you were guaranteed to get any sort of programming. As others have mentioned, they will still work with DVD players, VCRs, game systems, etc. Granted, I think it is a good gesture that the government is helping out, but I definitely don't think it should be delayed because this coupon shortage.

Woefully under funded? Bull!
By Shadowself on 1/8/2009 8:37:51 PM , Rating: 2
Let's see...
$1.34 billion allocated
$40 per coupon
Up to 2 coupons per household
That's at least 16,750,000 households that have coupons. It's probably more than that, but let's be conservative.

Then let's assume for the moment that each of those 103,000 on the waiting list each represents a household wanting two coupons.

That means that the program was underfunded by the whopping amount of ...
wait for it...


How is that woefully underfunded?

I'm actually amazed that anyone got within 10% of what would be requested.

And, as others have stated, there will always be those that procrastinate and don't put in a request until the last moment. Do add another billion in funding then wait until a year after the last request has come in before we mandate the change?

Additionally, why should the FCC require all OTA channels to maintain two transmissions? At this point they are 99.9% ready for the switch. I'd suspect most of them can't wait for the day to shut down the analog signals. The OTA broadcasters certainly don't *want* to be maintaining two separate transmission systems.

Congress should add a bit more to the fund (maybe $200 million or so -- about 2.5 million more homes) and be done with it.

RE: Woefully under funded? Bull!
By drebo on 1/8/2009 9:52:30 PM , Rating: 2
No, it's even worse than that...

Assuming that all 16% of the 115 million households got the coupon...

115,000,000 * .16 = 18,400,000 converters needed.
18,400,000 converters * $40/converter = $736,000,000 needed.

My question is this: where'd the other half of the money go?

By Rockjock51 on 1/9/2009 12:16:16 PM , Rating: 2
Must have missed the 2 converters per household part. Fixes your equation quite nicely, actually.

education, people
By plonk420 on 1/8/2009 6:40:27 PM , Rating: 1
if any of you "tv is a want, not a need" people knew a lick about this, the government hasn't/won't be spending any money on this due to the broadcast spectrum auction.

if you haven't heard of the cutoff through all the PSAs, ads, news bits, print articles, (or heard of it and not asked anyone you know about it) i'm sorry but you get no sympathy from me.

i don't get all of those stupid fucking bleeding hearts.

RE: education, people
By alifbaa on 1/8/2009 7:06:58 PM , Rating: 2
The government got money from the auction, then used that money on coupons for the transition.

How is that not the government spending money? Was that money somehow unusable for roads, schools, revitalizing defense or saving social security?

RE: education, people
By plonk420 on 1/9/2009 2:42:35 AM , Rating: 2
ok, you got me that they're spending money. however, i don't think $1.5 billion to reallow TV watching access to the analog spectrum they auctioned off ("took away" from mom and pop TV watchers) for $19.592 billion is a very big drain...

By tdktank59 on 1/8/2009 6:24:00 PM , Rating: 1
From what i noticed there were no TV commercials besides best buys buy a new TV one... Other than that commercial I never saw anything else... And even then I only saw that one a few times.

Truly why does the gov need to subsidies this? Why cant Americans cough up the small amount of dough to watch there TV again.

I can bet there are a bunch of people who got these coupons that didn't need them to begin with.

From what I have read it is only effecting OTA (over the air) broadcasts in analog. So any cable subscriber wont have to worry about anything.

Plus Americans watch too much TV as is... (BTW i am American...)

By adiposity on 1/8/2009 7:05:51 PM , Rating: 2
The problem is, the private sector has been supplying a service to americans for years now, and suddenly that service is being force off the air by the govt. Doesn't the govt. have some responsibility to those affected by its decision to legislate what kind of broadcasts can be transmitted and received?

Granted, TV is not a necessity for most people, but it does provide emergency broadcasts, news, and some people do all their shopping over the TV.

What if the govt decided to outlaw gasoline engines? Wouldn't you hope for a subsidy to buy your electric car? What if they outlawed modem access for the internet? etc.

As a technophile, I like the govt's decision to force us to HDTV. But it does have a higher cost of entry, especially for those already with their analog sets. In order to gain support for the measure, they HAD to agree to help out people with analog sets. It just wouldn't have been acceptable to a huge number of americans and their representatives.


By perrywilson78 on 1/8/2009 7:28:17 PM , Rating: 1
I can get 2 analog channels fine but 0 digital channels on the same antenna. There are some people who have no other option, no cable here and the neighbor has a pecan tree in the way so no satellite. After the digital I will only have radio I guess. I have a job and I am a hard working American but I don't like change that is for the worst.

By kjboughton on 1/8/2009 7:34:17 PM , Rating: 2
Since when is it the government's job to provide cable TV. Where's that in the Constitution, exactly? Creeping socialism...

RE: hmm
By Aquila76 on 1/8/2009 10:00:14 PM , Rating: 2
Digital converter box != cable TV. The box converts over-the-air DTV to a signal the analog TV can display.

By pwnsweet on 1/8/2009 10:20:15 PM , Rating: 2
Meh. The world is in an economic downturn and people are complaining about a delay of digital TV? The delay should be a few more YEARS in my opinion. The money spent trasitioning everyone to digital TV could be better spent elsewhere to combat the slow economy.

RE: Priorities
By ghost101 on 1/9/2009 1:54:14 AM , Rating: 2
Could means billions in lost revenue from spectrum license sales.

Also this is money being spent on the economy. Where is the money given to retailers selling the dtv boxes going? Its going to the owners of the shops and the people that work for them.

This is no different from a fiscal bailout which you propose by saying that the money should be "spent" elsewhere. Of course if you had said the government should lower taxes instead, your post would have been less contradictory.

TV communication
By ghost101 on 1/9/2009 1:46:49 AM , Rating: 2
I can't believe that people here are advocating that that government shouldn't ensure that one of the main means of communication between them and the electorate be severed. TV and radio will always act as a means of getting news to people in rural and hard to reach areas. The fastest and most economical method of getting advice/news to people will remain the TV.

Those that tend to be the most apathetic and undereducated are targeted by this program. Obviously its not possible to distinguish cost effectively between those that can afford a new TV with a digital tuner or a digital tuner and therefore this program has been awarded to everyone. I suspect a lot of people who arent the targets of this program have unnecessarily got coupons merelt to get an extra digital tuner or to later throw the coupon away.

As for everyone saying that people with a TV should be able to buy a tuner for themselves, should ask themselves, what TVs still have analogue tuners? These are ancient TVs and clearly are concentrated amongst people who cannot afford a new TV or digital tuner, i.e. these vulnerable groups who could be at greatest risk from a natural disaster, wars, epidemics etc.

TV has massive externalities and you simplt have it has changed the democratic system. news is much more readily available and has made government more accountable. Just look at the US presidential campaign and TV debates. Its become integral to democracy itself now. To those that would be left with no home access to TV would leave a massive electorate vacuum.

Positive externalities of promoting TV use (not cable tv, hi-def tv, but a simple basic access) is far greater than $40 a dtv box.

RE: TV communication
By Alexstarfire on 1/9/2009 5:46:33 AM , Rating: 2
I'm sry, but if you don't have a portable radio laying around then I say you probably aren't using your TV for "emergency services." Hell, we've got at least 2 portable radios laying around here. 1 of them is hand powered. I really doubt your TV can run even on batteries.... so how will it help you if there is a real emergency and the power goes out? That free DTV converter sure helps out there doesn't it?

BTW, you can listen to all the stuff you mentioned on the radio. FOR FREE EVEN.

Down with the government
By mguilicutty on 1/9/2009 6:19:22 AM , Rating: 2
This means I'm going to have to delay purchasing the 22" wheels for my escort for at least 2 weeks.

RE: Down with the government
By superflex on 1/12/2009 12:24:31 PM , Rating: 2
You can still rent to own those rims.

What happens...
By Erudite on 1/12/2009 11:32:47 AM , Rating: 2 all of the unused (expired) coupons? I haven't had much luck in finding that out. Is that $40 per coupon that just goes up in smoke? Or is it recycled into new coupons? If I recall correctly, you can't get replacements if you let the coupons expire, so you wouldn't be eligible for a new one, but maybe it goes to someone who applied for a coupon later?

I personally think a $40 reimbursement would be the way to go. It seems like there would be much less waste that way. (I would like to have seen it go that way in the first place, but nobody asked me) Only the people who actually bought the converter would get the $40 (up to two per household), so the overall money spent on citizens would be on the ones who actually got the converter, and there shouldn't be any waste, including postage, cards and printing, etc., for something that ends up not being used. And you had to go online to apply for a coupon anyway, so it shouldn't be a big deal to go online to apply for a reimbursement instead.

I would be interested in knowing what happens to the expired coupons, if anybody knows.

RE: What happens...
By Erudite on 1/12/2009 11:47:14 AM , Rating: 2
And I almost forgot, I'm not in favor of changing the deadline, regardless of whether they allocate more money. Converter boxes aren't going to be pulled off of the shelves when the deadline hits. Some people may be without OTA TV for a few days, or a week, or two, but they'll still be able to get the converters. And maybe they'll have to wait for a month or more if the government decides to allocate more money to coupons or reimbursements. In the meantime, the TV will continue to work with VCRs, DVD players, game consoles, etc.

After there's been this much time to prepare, don't change the deadline.

Mod me down...
By dj LiTh on 1/8/2009 7:30:45 PM , Rating: 1
So ya i'm gonna go ahead and go against the grain here...

I think he's on to something. I personally dont think people in general are very smart. So i can definitely see some poor uneducated people feeling forced to buy this at the expense of food/medicine/clothes for their children ect. Yes i understand its their own damn fault, but times are getting tougher for everyone (i think most can agree on that at least), with the poor (normally poor and uneducated sadly go hand in hand in a vicious cycle) taking the brunt of things that many of us take for granted. I mean do we really need digital tv right now? Ok bad question, especially to a tech audience but you catch my drift.... ok hit me

RE: Mod me down...
By Fritzr on 1/8/2009 10:07:22 PM , Rating: 2
No it is not their fault that they did not run down to their local store and shell out a month's income for a new TV.

Do we need DTV today? No. Yes it is nice to have, but as a necessity? DTV is just as much a luxury as TV was. For the poor a working TV works. A new TV or forced purchase of an adapter for the TV that is not broken is an unnecessary expense.

Was the coupon program well advertised? Hard to say, I saw the first advert outside tech magazines in October 2008. PBS started pushing in November 2008 just about the time that the news reporters were saying the coupons were running out. Though this may have to do with the 5 to 6 hrs of TV I watch in an average week :P

I'm still waiting...
By ice456789 on 1/8/2009 8:39:21 PM , Rating: 2
for the government to give me a coupon to update my cell phone from my current brick phone. It turns out my brick phone doesn't work on 3g, 2g, 1g, or even 1/2g networks.

I'm also waiting for my coupon to upgrade my old NES to a Wii, because that no longer works with current games.

Any time a new technology is invented that makes something obsolete we should get a coupon, right?

RE: I'm still waiting...
By nvalhalla on 1/9/2009 3:00:45 AM , Rating: 1
Any time the GOVERNMENT FORCES a product to be obsolete, yes, you get a coupon. When they do it so they can make a 20 BILLION DOLLAR profit you should absolutely get a coupon.

An accurate analogy would be if the government FORCED all cell carriers to stop using 2G signals and only allow 3G phones. Then the government would be responsible for replacing your phone.

This isn't an industry advancing naturally. If all the TV stations in your area said "F*** analog" and stopped broadcasting, then you would be left holding the bag. The TV stations in my area have all had digital signals for over 2 years now and continue to use the analog anyway. The industry still wants analog, they are being forced to change so the FCC can make some money.

If I came into your house and smashed your NES would your response be "oh well, it's obsolete, time for a Wii." No, you would say "Hey, that still worked fine, you owe me a new NES."

The first of many...
By Goty on 1/8/2009 8:59:52 PM , Rating: 1
It's going to be a looong four years, folks.

RE: The first of many...
By jjmcubed on 1/9/2009 12:29:03 AM , Rating: 2
As long as the last eight?

Oh Noes...
By GTaudiophile on 1/8/2009 9:26:19 PM , Rating: 1
The Libs are just freaked that they may lose their most important lying...I mean propaganda machine. Ghasp, without their TVs, people just turn on their radios...or worse, think for themselves!

RE: Oh Noes...
By sweetsauce on 1/9/2009 2:13:17 PM , Rating: 2
OK let me get this straight. The better alternative to the "liberal propaganda machine" that you say television is will be the "conservative propaganda machine" that i say radio is? Classic. Conservatives should just make a new political party already, call themselves the Hypocritical party. Your party logo can be a christian pastor having gay sex, or a conservative politician getting caught soliciting sex from underage boys. The possibilities are endless, yet so entertaining.

I'll give you props for including the think for yourself part at the end. Too bad no one on both sides seem to be capable of doing that anymore. Might have something to do with what information they are spoon fed on a daily basis. Hmmmmmmm makes you think doesn't it?

By bplewis24 on 1/8/2009 6:23:50 PM , Rating: 2


By Josh7289 on 1/9/2009 12:24:49 AM , Rating: 2

are most of you serious ?
By Maiyr on 1/9/2009 1:56:01 PM , Rating: 2
Judging from the comments I can only assume that most of you on here have no grandparents or even know anythng about the life of an elderly person. I do and I can tell you that none of them have any clue whatsoever concerning this switch. For me I don't care if it happens or not. I already have more HD than I can watch on Dish. For them on the other hand I do care. I also care for the likely million others who will lose TV once the switch happens. For my grandparents it doesn't matter because I will take care of it for them. There are however many elderly who aren't poor, nor uneducated, but who simply do not pay attention to things like this anymore and who do not have someone that is going to take care of this for them.

What people don't understand
By barrychuck on 1/9/2009 2:06:03 PM , Rating: 2
The switch to DTV is to free up the frequency bands, allowing the FCC to use them for other purposes. All the people who will be without TV, need to go to work and get off the couch. The bandwith is worth billions, and is how thing like city wide wireless are to happen. The couple of people inconvenienced are complaining loudly, and missing the fact that our country needs this in order for them to keep being lazy. TV or a real life, you decide.

This is rediculous
By ZachDontScare on 1/9/2009 2:53:58 PM , Rating: 2
Postponing the transition will do nothing. If people havent seen/heard/understood the PSAs that have been running non-stop on every F&*%ing channel for the past 2 years, they're not going to see it or do anything about it if you give them another year.

Part of the problem is that many of the PSAs sent mixed messages. Few of them, until very recently, stated clearly that it only applies to over the air tv. So part of this whole problem gets put on the shoulders of the media people (whom I suspect themselves didnt understand what was going on) who produced the confusing, contradictory PSAs.

I call BS on the numbers.
By Jimbo1234 on 1/9/2009 9:49:15 PM , Rating: 2
88% of the 115 million TV viewing households already had cable, satelite, or both and do not need a converter. Some have ATSC tuners in their TVs already as well, most likely those that have one of the former services. So 12% or 14 million households need a converter box to get signal on at least 1 set. So how does the article arrive at 16% of 115 million households not getting service? It doesn't add up.

So much for "Change"...
By IGBT on 1/9/2009 11:34:16 PM , Rating: 2's only TV for gawd sakes. most people would be better off if they just watched a DVD or two from time to time instead of the endless dribble and propaganda on network TV. Shut it off.

Asking the wrong question
By OCedHrt on 1/10/2009 8:12:47 AM , Rating: 2
Considering that $1.34 billion only covers 33500000 sets at a maximum, that's not a lot. Especially when I read about people getting 5+ coupons.

What was that saying?
By killerb255 on 1/11/2009 5:50:11 PM , Rating: 2
"Lack of preparation on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part"?

Simply put, the DTV coupon program started New Years Day 2008! People who are complaining about running out of coupons should have applied for one MUCH EARLIER!

Hell, I thought they were going to run out MUCH sooner than this!

By Guttersnipe on 1/15/2009 6:14:13 PM , Rating: 2
and i'm already starting to lose respect for him.

and so it begins...

By MAIA on 1/8/09, Rating: -1
By cmdrdredd on 1/8/2009 9:41:10 PM , Rating: 2
The thing is...this was decided over 2 years ago and the sales of the analog spectrum is all but signed over to the interested parties. In that 2 years, you can't tell me that people didn't see, hear, read, or watch a commercial related to the DTV switchover. If these people need their Tvs so badly, surely they watched it and saw the ads. Not to mention the fact that these 1000,000+ is a very very small number, it means that it's only 1.2% or so underfunded. Cry me a river.

Did the government ever give anyone a coupon to buy a car when the horse and buggy went obsolete? I don't think so...what about a coupon to upgrade from dialup internet, a new cell phone with 3G? a DVD player coupon to upgrade your VHS? A coupon to upgrade to a CD player from a tape or 8 track?

See my point...

Eat the $50 on the converter and move the hell on.

Or better yet, go stimulate the economy by buying a new TV. OMG what a something new.

By nvalhalla on 1/9/2009 12:33:36 AM , Rating: 2
"Did the government ever give anyone a coupon to buy a car when the horse and buggy went obsolete?"

Did the government kill all the horses when they were "obsolete"?
Did the tape players stop working when CDs came out?
Did the government mandate all cell carriers turn of 2G when 3G came out?

See my point?

By PurdueRy on 1/9/2009 6:21:48 AM , Rating: 2
Hook a DVD player, or heck even a VCR to your TV after Feb 2009 and it will still show a picture! Your TV still works, in fact the tuner still works as proven by any device connected via a RF modulator will still work. Free broadcast TV is not a right. In this case, it's not ending, so it's even less of an argument.

As for your tape player example. Tape players didn't stop working but new content is virtually's actually a lot like this situation.

By Rockjock51 on 1/9/2009 12:19:02 PM , Rating: 2
The difference is the government didn't kill the tape player content. The tape player content providers did that.

By superflex on 1/9/2009 1:25:12 PM , Rating: 1
The govt did mandate cell carries switch from analog to digital. No coupon for upgrading to digital cell phones were given out and guess what, people got off their asses and got a new phone. Same applies here fucking liberal retards.

By ZachDontScare on 1/9/2009 3:02:56 PM , Rating: 2
And you can probably argue that a cell phone is far more important, personal safety and security-wise, than a TV.

By goz314 on 1/9/2009 7:16:19 PM , Rating: 2
You do realize that the converter coupon program was drafted and passed by both a conservatively held legislature and executive branch. I don't think I have ever seen anyone claim President Bush is an F-ing liberal retard, but I guess I'll agree with the extension of your comment there.

By diggernash on 1/9/2009 7:40:56 PM , Rating: 2
The Bush administration allowed the congress to grow government spending, so in the end... Yes, he is a F-ing liberal retard.

Exactly how many packs of cigarettes can you buy with $40? Spread those packs over 2 years and let's see how many cigarettes a week people would have needed to give up to afford that oppressively expensive converter. Same analogy for beer, cokes, crack rocks, and porn subscriptions.

Not being able to afford the converter is a symptom, giving them a converter is not a cure; it is a disincentive to engage in the cure... WORK.

By cmdrdredd on 1/9/2009 11:27:19 PM , Rating: 2
The difference is the government didn't kill the tape player content. The tape player content providers did that.

And it will be the content providers who flip the switch to shut down their analog equipment.

By cmdrdredd on 1/9/2009 11:29:43 PM , Rating: 2
"Did the government ever give anyone a coupon to buy a car when the horse and buggy went obsolete?" Did the government kill all the horses when they were "obsolete"? Did the tape players stop working when CDs came out? Did the government mandate all cell carriers turn of 2G when 3G came out? See my point?

You make no sense. Your TV STILL WORKS! It doesn't mean you have to throw it in the garbage. You really are a moron.

By Dreifort on 1/12/2009 11:14:47 AM , Rating: 2
wouldn't it be kinda dumb to have a TV that doesn't work? By working, I mean it shows more than static on the display.

I guess you could connect your Atari 2600 or Coleco Vision to pass the time in between watching static. Or whip out your old BETA player to watch some home videos.

I wonder if lack of neighborhood recreational league signups is going to be blamed on the economy or that Americans are overweight -- any reason but the reason there are 10x more TV channels to watch now.

By Sinisteer on 1/12/2009 12:54:02 PM , Rating: 2
I blame Bush for fat people, global warming, and Canada!

By Dreifort on 1/12/2009 1:45:15 PM , Rating: 2
damn Canadians! we (Americans) diluted their minds with technology inovations such as the radio. oh the humanity!

By omnicronx on 1/12/2009 1:55:48 PM , Rating: 1
You don't need an HDTV to take advantage of DTV broadcasts, all you need is 50 dollars (10 if you have a rebate) to buy a converter box. Also all HDTV's since 2006 require that it includes an DTV-OTA tuner.

You are giving us Canadians a bad name. Not to mention we also get these channels for free, and the analogue shutdown will result in signal boosts which should give much better results for OTA DTV users close to the boarder.

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