I think I've finally had it up to here [image: Hand slightly higher than forehead, angry face] with this analog-to-digital TV switch issue. I am in agreement that, in the end, a switch to digital TV signals is a net improvement for all involved. But the following elements irritate me:
- The government has handed out tens of millions of $40 coupons for converter boxes that cost little more than $40. This billion-plus-dollar subsidy is being paid for by me and other taxpayers. The number of coupons issued has already exceeded the number of homes which still receive TV signals via antennas. The Founding Fathers must be rolling in their graves.
- Despite a barrage of advertising, news items, reminders, etc., etc.—the original law was passed in 1996—there are apparently still some people who have not gotten the message that the transition goes total on February 17. How can you miss this? If you have and use a TV, you should have learned this by now. And if you use your TV and missed this, maybe you should be away from TV for a time??
- Hawaii was the first state to make the switch, which took place several days ago (something to do with the mating season of an endangered bird which lives in/near the volcanoes on which transmission towers rest—gotta love those environmentalists). And what happened? According to many articles, including this one, there were hundreds of confused people calling TV stations and the FCC wondering what was going on!
Then yesterday's paper comes...
In which our president suggests that in order to avoid inconveniencing the foolish, the transition to all-digital be moved back four months! Instead, the inconvenienced will include broadcast stations, who stands to lose millions and millions of dollars with a delay; public safety operations, who are counting the days until the switch, when they can use their improved communication capabilities; and wireless companies who have already purchased the freed-up spectrum for their own business purposes.
Never mind the fact that four more months of public service announcements about the switch will be horribly irritating...