Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Please See Below...

This was the entry that I thought I had lost, but fortunately, I just discovered it autosaved near the end! Please give it a read and share your thoughts.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

02.17.09 - "Blow It Out Your Earrrrrrrrr"

So far 2009 is bringing about some changes in my life...some which I am not ok with. Lucky for you all, I'm not intending to write about myself this time, so we'll just have to save this for later.

This last year the media has continued to bombard us with ads reminding us of the DTV transition for analog to all-digital, second only to the 2008 election. Starting February 17, 2009, if you use an antenna to watch your favorite programs on local TV, you're going to be very disappointed because at midnight all full-power television stations in the U.S. will stop broadcasting in analog and switch to 100% digital broadcasting. However, we have options such as connecting to cable, satellite, or another pay-TV service, or purchasing a TV with a built-in digital tuner. Or, for my fellow white trash friends, the government offers the TV Converter Box Coupon Program which can save you $40 on a TV converter box, valued at $50-70.

My opinion: once was enough.

It irks me to see what we've become as a society and the rapid movement in that same direction (and my involvement in that), and I think the DTV transition is a great example. Once the transition is complete, some television channels will be turned over to fire and police departments for emergency communication and others are being auctioned to companies to provide new wireless services. You'd think if there wasn't enough room in the air for each of us to be constantly glued to our cell phones and wrapped up in ourselves, we'd rethink the value of the simpler things in life. Instead, our "me" attitude has once again led Congress to extremes such as mandating this transition.

Also, if you do choose to apply for the Coupon Program, you will see this message: "The TV Converter Box Coupon Program has reached its funding ceiling. However, coupon requests from eligible households will be filled as funds from expiring coupons become available. If you would like to apply for a coupon today and are eligible, you will be placed on a waiting list and will receive coupons on a first-come-first-served basis as funds from expiring coupons become available." Are we really so desperate that the government does not have enough available funding for everyone to use this program, and that over 100,000 people have been placed on this waiting list?

Don't mistake this as a "holier than thou" stance. I look forward to clearer pictures without having to pay for cable or satellite, and I very much support the increase in emergency communication & broadcast space. Heck, I may even purchase an antenna for my converter box. :-) But a much larger part of me has to look at this and say "What have we become?"

Now is your chance to share your opinions, insights, & research on the DTV 2009 transition. I want to know what each of you have to say on the subject, and hopefully we can generate some semi-decent discussion. Annnnndddd....go!