Well, as expected the digital changeover might not be changing quite so fast. I’m sure most of you know of the impending February 17th cutoff date for analog television (read non-digital tv) since they have been yammering about this for the last two years you ought to. The plan was to change everything over to the digital world, not sure why, probably because there is vast profit in it for somebody who made a large contribution to a political campaign or two but anyway, I guess the analog space will become digital or maybe that space is up for sale for internet TV wanted by perverse wrestling midgets… Could be.
Long story short, it seems that their plans haven’t quite worked out. Apparently, since the government was forcing this on we, the poor, unsuspecting public, they felt duty bound to offer us coupons in the amount of $40 to offset the cost of the overpriced digital converter boxes needed to get the television signal on the old style analog televisions. Clearly, not all of us can afford those snazzy new, digital, hi-def numbers can we? And especially we of the downtrodden, since TV (and cigarettes and Budweiser) are our only real forms of affordable entertainment, really needed those coupons. I would have thought though since the government is the government that they’d just make the manufacturers (who I’m sure are profiting bigtime from the manufacture of these little black boxes) price them at say $20 rather than letting them price them at $60 and have them pick up the rest of the bill? At least, logic would dictate it. After all, they can tell power companies what they can charge, they regulate every fricking thing else in the country but not the price of a stupid little box? Interesting if you ask me – but maybe that is fodder for another post. I digress…
The deal is that the ‘program’ has run out of funds. Yup, there are reportedly a couple, three million who are still waiting for those coupons and likely if they pull the plug on TV before those folks get their little black boxes then there is sure to be some sort of natural disaster, or at least a class action lawsuit which I’m sure the ACLU would be up for – given that having television is a Constitutional right and all… Currently, the new administration is begging and pretty-pleasing Congress (why this is necessary I couldn’t tell you since they are all members of the same club, aren’t they?) to put off the cutoff date til June, you can read a little more about it here.
I’m sure that the date will be moved back and once we start heading toward June it will probably be pushed back further still. My prediction puts it at the end of the year at best. Given the fact that there are so many other economic issues for the new administration to concern itself with, I doubt television signals are going to be paramount among them. But who knows – it might be payback time and that could greatly affect us still living in the analog world.
Personally, I could care less, since I watch little television and what I do watch I can see on the internet without too much trouble – without all those annoying and badly written commercials too. Except in the sense that our government seems more and more convinced that they have to wipe our noses and asses at every turn. Why anyone ever agreed that we should be reimbursed for buying converter boxes is beyond me. We aren’t reimbursed for having to buy gasoline, automobiles, food or anything else that costs more than we wish it did – we didn’t get vouchers for dvd players when everything switched over to those, did we? No iPod credits, no mp3 players of any sort. I guess it’s all relative, eh? I think eventually, we’ll all just be implanted with little computer chips in our heads that carry all our personal info, medical & dental records, bank account access and 108 channel television – though the converter box for that would be quite something, don’t you think? I wonder if the government will issue vouchers for those too. What do you think?
Update: It has in fact happened, read about it here.