General Question

willbrawn's avatar

Are you prepared for the DTV transition that is happening today?

Asked by willbrawn (6614points) June 12th, 2009

Today is the DTV transition day. Are you prepared?

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21 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Yup. Instead of buying two hugely expensive new TVs last Feb., I got two converter boxes (with discount coupons) that support my ancient but stalwart 23-year-old roof antenna. Cost, $80 plus the kid who installed the boxes.

I can now receive “The A Team,” “Maverick,” movies from the 1970s, four evangelical channels, something that stars a young David Hasselhoff, and 3 weather channels in addition to the ones that interest me. Wed. and Thurs. I saw “Dances with Wolves,” which has held up very nicely.

sap82's avatar

Yep I am totally prepared. I got rid of cable last year and I am also giving serious thought to throwing out my television. We read a lot.

CMaz's avatar

I am a TV Station Manager. Unless you want me to elaborate. I will make it simple.
It is one big pain in the ass.

Les's avatar

Removed by me because I don’t feel like getting into an argument today.

gailcalled's avatar

Les; My mother can’t even remember to take a shower unless my sis and I call to remind her. If you are lucky, someday that will not be you.

I agree with you about the under 35’s. Even I have been prepared since Feb. I got the coupons, went to Radio Shack, bought both the boxes and the teen-ager for installation. The I returned him.

casheroo's avatar

I’m under 35 and don’t really know whats happening, I know we didn’t have to do anything though. does that count?

Les's avatar

@gailcalled: I know. Oh, never mind.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

I have digital cable.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Please. Gadget Girl here. I’ve had an HD set since 2003, with cable. I done been ready. And I’m (barely) under 40!

kevbo's avatar

I’m so GD sick of hearing about this and think it’s criminal that the government is campaigning so strongly for universal digital television over universal healthcare or anything else that’s actually important.

@willbrawn, nothing personal

CMaz's avatar

I am so glad this nonsense is over!! OR IS IT?
The Analog signal inherently travels further, digital is 1” and 0’s, you either have the necessary amount of data to reproduce the image or you don’t.
Plenty of people will not be able to get TV (DT) any more because the signal will not go as far and breaks down too quickly. FCC knows this, but they are keeping a low profile on it.
Too much money has already been spent, on their end and the consumers.
Also the big lie from the cable companies is if you have cable you are good to go. True, if you have a converter box for your analog TV or a digital tv.
If you have basic cable and an analog set. You will not always be able to watch TV in that way. They will be dropping the analog signal from the cable line to make room for more channels and or services..
In order for your TV to continue to work, you will have to upgrade to a cable box or buy a new TV. Or for $4 or $5 dollars rent a Digital to analogue converter from your cable company.
If you just want to watch the air signal. Which is not a bad idea, if you can pick them all up. Where my station is we can pick up 40 channels off the air. But, our TV antenna is 80 feet in the air.
My thoughts on this, I understand the technical good of all this. But, because not enough time was put into understanding the pitfalls of the “weak” signals. The only people that are benefiting in the long run are the cable and Satellite companies. This is just a covert way to push everyone onto the information super highway.
We will eventually not have a choice, information will not be free. The airwaves will be freed up for other technological advancements.
And, don’t get me started on “HD” it is better to be called 1080 then HD.

willbrawn's avatar

@kevbo oh no worries, just thought it was a decent question given the day.

You have to remember entertainment is better than the way of the life our citizens live in America. Sad.

DominicX's avatar

We use Comcast cable in all the TVs in my house and have for a while. But my dad’s been on the phone with his mom trying to tell her exactly what to do about this transition thing because she still has her old TV.

glessner's avatar

I have a feeling anyone unprepared for the DTV transition isn’t going to show up on Fluther to say “no”.

ChinaXD's avatar

Ehh… Yeah it’s actually not that bad if you think about it.
Its just me. Idk so…

Clair's avatar

@glessner i’m actually unprepared.
but does it count that i don’t care because i don’t watch tv..

CMaz's avatar

“but does it count that i don’t care because i don’t watch tv.”
Now that is hot!
I have worked in TV (now we have to call it DT) for almost 25 years.
Life would be so much better if we threw those bloody things out the window. Along with the computers. :-)
I bet CLAIR is an interesting and wiser person, staying away from the stupid box.

Clair's avatar

@ChazMaz you’re getting lurve for that.
/mischievous smile

Strauss's avatar

@ChazMaz, did your station lose a lot of viewers due to the change in signal strength?

I worked with a contractor for the FCC during the transition, and we put over 4000 people on phones to answer questions about the transition. Most of the calls I received had to do with connecting the digital converter boxes. Many other calls had to do with reception and signal strength, especially in remote areas.

CMaz's avatar

I had the opportunity to talk to the assistant to the head of the FCC before we pulled the plug.
Letting him know that the information about signal strength was wrong. I know they knew it.
Played it down, but when walking me through how to tell what channels I would be viewing once I was off of analogue. He was surprised to see I went from 5 channels to 0.
They pushed it too hard and too fast. The technology was/is there but we the people, we were either not up to speed or did not feel a need for it. Progress and slick marketing pushed us out of the way.

The bottom line is/was to get everyone off of the airwaves to make room for new technology. Like cellular.
We do have a right to free airspace. But it is hard to stand up when the rug gets pulled out from under you.

I run an educational TV Station. Most of my viewers were already on cable. Somewhere around 3% watches us on air. I did get the, “how do you hook this stuff up?” calls. But most were already good to go.
We told everyone we would go black in February then it was moved up. So by the time we did hit the switch. They were over prepared.
As far as the people that cant afford cable and now do not have a signal. They now have cable or dish, they lost their choice.
THAT was the goal. Now, the few that are still hanging on to the air signal but do not have a signal any more? I predict that eventually the the FCC will put up relays to fix the signal problem. Or everyone will FINALLY be paying for TV. Ooops I mean DT.
Freeing up big business to exploit a new resource.

SIDE NOTE: Stations that border Mexico and Canada can still broadcast analog. It is nice that we can provide free TV to them. Nothing changed for those countries.

Dutchess_III's avatar

DTV suckes.

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