Can You See Me Now?

Newsflash! Apparently, as of 18 February 2009 a lot of televisions will go dark. Why? Because all the broadcasts will be switching over to digital signals. So, any television (remember that awesome deal you got on a 27 inch screen t.v. at Circuit City?) that doesn’t have a digital receiver will not receive.

You might say, ‘So what? I have cable, no worries.” And that would be true – if you’re willing to pay $30-$100 a month for television it won’t really matter to you. Even if your set doesn’t have a digi-receiver, the cable companies can somehow magically transmorph the signal so that you get it – though likely they’ll just give you a converter box and all will be well with the world. You’ll still get your 227 stations of high grade digitized entertainment.

But what about us schmoes who refuse to pay for television (like me). I have an antenna on the top of my house and I get the broadcast channels, thank you very much. And really I don’t want anymore than that because I actually have to get something done – with 227 channels my ass is glued to the barcalounger and only moves for snacks. What about us? Well, we get a $40 coupon from the government (or so they say) with which to buy the converter box which will likely retail for $60. Though something tells me, that if you’re not low income or can’t prove you’re needy you’ll end up paying the full $60 out of your own pocket. Just a feeling I have so don’t quote me.

Apparently the ‘air” they now use to broadcast television signals the old-fashioned way will be auctioned off for other use. Now, don’t you have to wonder who is going to bid on that air and what the heck are they going to do with it? It seems to me that every square inch of space doesn’t have to be used. We could just let it be, couldn’t we? Nope, it’s going to be auctioned off and it wouldn’t suprise me is Lil Kim of Korea or Imajihad of Iran or Chubby Chavez bought it all up and piped in subliminal messages to us yuglee Americans.

Can you see it now. We won’t have any television reception but strange foreign music will play whenever we turn on the set. Heck, maybe they will even turn on by themselves and order us around. Make us write checks to non-profits for foreign orphans schooling. Suddenly we’ll have the urge to pay $5 a gallon for gas, women will be demanding burkhas from fashion designers and those Eloton John big bug eyeglasses will become all the rage.

Could happen.

If you want to read more about this, you can find it here.

Advertisements

16 thoughts on “Can You See Me Now?

  1. i’m sorry hunny, i’m a 227-channeler. and guess what? THERE STILL AIN’T NOTHIN GOOD ON!

    That’s my point Reggie. It doesn’t matter, 5 channels or 227 there is still nothing on. So why pay?
    WC

    Like

  2. I’m not entirely sure you’d be picking up strange foreign noises on the newly-vacant channels, unless they happen to coincide with the actual audio frequencies used in NTSC television.

    Then again, if you live near a channel-6 TV station, you can hear it at around 87.7 on your FM dial. (This is because the audio for channel 6 is located at between 87.74 and 87.76 MHz.) So it’s theoretically possible to target old analog sets, though I doubt anyone would go to the trouble.

    The new TV range, incidentally, will be channels 7 through 51 only; everything else is red-tagged at closeout prices.

    Hey CG,
    I was just kidding, I know we won’t be getting secret messages via our soon to be useless tv’s. My brand of humor is a bit tongue in cheek.

    Not clear on what you mean by the new tv range – how can channels be red-tagged at closeout prices?
    WC

    Like

  3. Meaning I expect the government to part with this spectrum (2 through 6, 52 through 69) for probably less than it’s really worth; it’s not like they have a good track record at negotiating in such matters.

    (And I take some things incredibly literally, just because it gives me an opportunity to pontificate at a more preposterous level than usual.)

    Hey CG,
    Oh, I see…sorta. 😉

    As to taking things literally – that can sometimes be great fun – especially if pontificating is part of the mix. 😉
    WC

    Like

  4. Wow, the other reply to this post had my head spinning and Bella that rides the little bus was scratching her head say’n, huh? heee-heee. Anyway, you and Reg hit it, all those channels and not a darn toot’n thing on. I give up. I’m all about Blockbuster online rentals. I just get exactly what I want 😉 I hate the cable company, they are evil.

    Hey Bella,
    Yes, the cable companies are evil. I’m hoping by the time this rolls around Internet TV will be going full force and I can just hook up my tv as a giant monitor. 😉
    WC

    Like

  5. This is happening in the UK, too. Here, a lot of aerials on people’s houses can’t pick up the digital signals very well, so they’ve got to change those as well – don’t know if that will be a problem in the US. The converter boxes are very cheap these days, though.

    The motivation for the government is to cram more TV channels into a smaller amount of bandwidth, and sell the analogue channels to the mobile phone companies.

    Hi Brian,
    Welcome to the discussion. What you said about selling the analogue to cell phone companies makes sense. I’ll be that’s exactly what they’re up to. You know, I’m all for technology and how much easier it has made our lives – but – just because there is some space out there doesn’t mean we have to fill every blooming square inch of it, does it?
    WC

    Like

  6. This is Twilight Zone stuff.
    I watch such little TV that it doesn’t much matter to me anyway. This is disturbing though.
    Give me the subliminal creeps already.
    ~m

    Hey Mikey,
    Well, didn’t you know that planet Earth is The Twilight Zone? You didn’t think Rod Serling just made those stories up, did you? Nope, he just found some old videos that they were hiding. Watch out, here comes the giant eyeball! 😆
    WC

    Like

  7. Don’t worry- I’ll buy it before the commies do, so all your checks will go to me instead.

    I’m so happy to know I’ll have a hand in donating to your eventual empire. 😉
    WC

    Like

  8. Hi WC,

    While, as you must know by now, I am not the biggest fan of our Government, in this instance, I have to admit that they are right. Really, times and technology change, and I fail to see why tax dollars should go to people who won’t keep up. If we the people should be required to support people with antique TV sets, then should we also be required to supply parts to people who own antique cars? For that matter, I’ve got an antique house, part of which was built in 1841, and I haven’t found any record of the Government kicking in when the owners switched from candles to electric lights.

    On the other hand, it’s quite exhilarating to find something on which we disagree! Ooh, tingles!

    the Grit

    Oooh, this is tasty! Me and The Grit disagreeing. Otay, point taken but my set is not an antique – I just bought my set 6 months ago – but no, it does not have a digital tuner. And I’m with you on the government paying for the boxes, they shouldn’t just as my phone company shouldn’t give free phone service to people ‘can’t afford’ a phone and charge me more so I can pay for it.

    But for the sake of argument, yep it’s good that we replaced candles with electricity and outhouses with indoor plumbing, progress all the way – BUT – if I didn’t feel the need for electricity (back in days of yore) I could have still used the candles – I wouldn’t have had to throw them out or buy some new special matches to light them – nor would I have had to use the indoor plumbing, I still could have used the outhouse – because unless I’d have moved it, it would still be there and usable. Do you see where I’m going with this? And again, if you own something that is older than dirt and you can get the parts for it, nope the government shouldn’t have to find them for you – BUT what if the government decided that we should all drive hybrids because of the global warming hoopla or smog or whatever hell else reason they came up with and you had two years to replace it and just bought an SUV? That ain’t an antique and not even close to being broken but the government decides that you’re behind the times. Are they right then? I don’t happen to think so but maybe others do. And believe me, that scenario probably isn’t too far off in the future, despite the fact that the ‘green’ car has more potential for negative impact on the environment because of the waste from the production of the batteries and the ultimate disposal thereof (imagine the landfills with those babies in them 20 years from now – yoiks).

    I guess my point is that the government decides it wants to cram even more noise into the atmosphere (and really do cell phones have to have more features? do they really have to have that analog space so they can spew even more useless crap through your tiny little phone – or is it just a bell and whistle to entice people who crave shit they don’t need?) and then thinks we should all just nod our heads and mumble ‘progress’ because of a change driven by greed? I respectfully disagree. I don’t think they should buy me or anybody the converter box – but I also don’t think their reason for change was motivated by anything other than greed. That I guess was my point.

    Back to you. 😆
    WC

    Like

  9. 18 February 2009 (sort of like Y2K). I guess with your antenna and all you’ll be writing more soon…. 🙂 …….steve

    Hey Steve,
    Luckily, I don’t watch that much television – but nah, I’ll probably get the box or a new set. It’s only money, right? 😉
    WC

    Like

  10. Hi WC 😉

    Let’s see, you said:

    “Oooh, this is tasty! Me and The Grit disagreeing. Otay, point taken but my set is not an antique – I just bought my set 6 months ago – but no, it does not have a digital tuner.”

    Then you should have been a better shopper. The change to digital has been public information for years, and, honestly, I’m surprised that six months ago you could find an analogue set for sale.

    ” And I’m with you on the government paying for the boxes, they shouldn’t just as my phone company shouldn’t give free phone service to people ‘can’t afford’ a phone and charge me more so I can pay for it. ”

    True.

    “But for the sake of argument, yep it’s good that we replaced candles with electricity and outhouses with indoor plumbing, progress all the way – BUT – if I didn’t feel the need for electricity (back in days of yore) I could have still used the candles – I wouldn’t have had to throw them out or buy some new special matches to light them – nor would I have had to use the indoor plumbing, I still could have used the outhouse – because unless I’d have moved it, it would still be there and usable. Do you see where I’m going with this?”

    Yes, and it doesn’t go to the point of the Government being able to change a service they provide. Also, as to matches and outhouses, they are both, now, regulated by various parts of the Government. You will find that only “safety” matches are available for purchase, and, should you decide to make use of that outhouse, you are violating several local construction codes 🙂

    “And again, if you own something that is older than dirt and you can get the parts for it, nope the government shouldn’t have to find them for you – BUT what if the government decided that we should all drive hybrids because of the global warming hoopla or smog or whatever hell else reason they came up with and you had two years to replace it and just bought an SUV? That ain’t an antique and not even close to being broken but the government decides that you’re behind the times. Are they right then? I don’t happen to think so but maybe others do. And believe me, that scenario probably isn’t too far off in the future, despite the fact that the ‘green’ car has more potential for negative impact on the environment because of the waste from the production of the batteries and the ultimate disposal thereof (imagine the landfills with those babies in them 20 years from now – yoiks).”

    Too late; it’s already happened, and more than once. You’ll notice, if you go car shopping, that no new vehicles are available without all sorts of pollution devices adding to their list price, nor can you purchase one without air bags and seat belts. Another point is, even though many much older cars were designed to run on leaded gas, that product, like the freon for their air conditioners, is no longer available. This, by the way, is a great example of why analogue TV broadcasts do not have to be maintained.

    “I guess my point is that the government decides it wants to cram even more noise into the atmosphere (and really do cell phones have to have more features? do they really have to have that analog space so they can spew even more useless crap through your tiny little phone – or is it just a bell and whistle to entice people who crave shit they don’t need?) and then thinks we should all just nod our heads and mumble ‘progress’ because of a change driven by greed? I respectfully disagree. I don’t think they should buy me or anybody the converter box – but I also don’t think their reason for change was motivated by anything other than greed. That I guess was my point. ”

    In that, I agree, up to a point. There are a few more reasons, besides more cell phones, which I don’t care for all that much, for freeing up a bit of bandwidth. Part of that, for instance, is supposed to go toward providing common frequencies for first responders. Some more of it is, as I understand it, is destined for wireless Internet connections. Beyond that, greed does play a role. Of course, I don’t see all that much wrong with a little greed, if the customers are demanding the product.

    One of the “freedoms” that I’ve always thought should have made it into the Bill of Rights, was the freedom to be stupid 🙂

    That was hot; excuse me while I go towel off.

    the Grit

    LOL – that was pretty mild in comparison to other debates you’ve had. Seems like it’s a draw – at least from my point of view.

    I guess I’m just an old fashioned kind of gal who thinks that just because you can change something doesn’t mean you should, you need to or have to. I’m a little confused though – the airwaves is a service the government provides? The government isn’t supposed to be providing anything in the free market are they? Isn’t that why it’s called the free market. And if it’s the government’s then …Oh never mind, I’m too lazy to debate today.

    Mostly, I just want the government to stop making everything their damned bees wax. Know what I mean?

    WC

    Like

  11. A=this information has me somewhere between agitated, pissed off, and disturbed. Sometimes I fear that as a people, we have become a bit ridiculous with how much more we need….wonder how many billions this will cost?

    I know what you mean, Kim. For crying out loud, we already have every convenience known to man – do we need more? I think not. I think the article gave a figure – but I can’t remember what it said. It was a lot though.
    WC

    Like

  12. Hi WC,

    As to bees wax and the Government, yes I do!

    However, in this instance, it’s necessary, although not specifically Constitutional, for them to get involved. Consider, if you would, what the result of no regulation would be. In that instance, your neighbor, who I suspect is a neo-Nazi fanatic, could purchase his/her own broadcasting equipment that shares the same frequency as your favorite TV station. While his/her setup would probably have a lot lower power than the massive setup across town, since it would be closer, the standard programming on channel X for your set would be a constant parade of bald Jew haters discussing which tattoo parlors do the best work and why Adolf is a great role model.

    While I, honestly, feel that is the American way to go, especially now that there are so many alternative methods of receiving mass media communications, the vast majority of people don’t agree 🙂 Personally, I think it might be fun to have my own TV/radio broadcast. My neighbors, however, may not agree, so, in the interest of getting along, I, reluctantly, agree with the Government on this one.

    the Grit

    Now that’s something I could support “Grit TV” That’d be worth the price of admission. 😆

    Okay, I get your point and you make some good ones. I guess I’m just being a fuddy-duddy and trying to stop the Progress Train. My bad.
    WC

    Like

  13. Hi WC,

    No bad. At heart I’m an anarchist, but I don’t think enough people are capable of dealing with that to make it work. Yet. I keep hoping.

    the Grit

    For fellow anarchists or digital tv?
    WC

    Like

  14. Hi WC,

    Clicked too soon :0

    Grit TV probably won’t go over too well, as its success would probably depend on altering my dress code, which I refuse to do. Not to mention that I have a face better suited for blogging than any means of visual presentation.

    the Grit

    No worries Grit, there is always hair and makeup. Most celebs are pretty scary looking in real life.
    WC

    Like

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.