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October 6, 2015


2.5 million homes still haven't switched to digital TV for some reason

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 18th 2009 8:01AM
tvEarlier this year, when we were going to switch to digital television in February, my sister sent me an e-mail and asked me if I was ready for the switch, and I thought to myself, I think I've been ready for several years. So I'm not quite sure why people are still having a problem switching from analog to digital (I'm especially confused when people say that older citizens use TV as their "lifeline" to the outside world - if you're using words like that, you really should switch or your family should switch for you).

Nielsen is reporting that 2.5 million homes still haven't switched to a digital TV or bought a converter box, even though that original switch date was extended to last Friday. I'm wondering why these people haven't switched yet. I'm not talking about people who have a TV but really don't watch it because they read books (as if you can't do both, but that's another rant). I'm talking about people who watch TV a lot and haven't made the switch yet.

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What do I do now that we've gone digital?

by Brad Trechak, posted Jun 14th 2009 9:00AM
Sony WatchmanThe big digital television crossover came and went. So what do I do with my spare set? Sure, I subscribe to cable so my wired televisions should have no problem with the conversion (most of mine are recent purchases anyway and are prepared for the conversion), but that's not what I'm referring to. I'm asking what exactly I could now do with the Sony Watchman Model FD-2A that I purchased in 1985 and remains in my closet to this day.

It was intended as a way of being able to watch television during high school (and to show how dated the set is, the screen is black and white). It does actually still work, if the purpose of the set is to produce a screen of snow.

Here are some ideas that I could now use the set for:
  • As a TV (all I need to do is crack it open and hook up a digital converter, which kind of ruins the portability aspect of the device)
  • Target practice
  • Paperweight
  • Handy object to throw at my oppressors (if I ever have any oppressors)
  • Tree ornament
  • Abstract art
  • Flashlight (if I turn off the sound)
  • Fencing practice (the antenna is pretty long)
  • Prop replica of a Sony Watchman
  • Brick replacement
Any other ideas?

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TV is going digital... finally. Too bad there's nothing new to watch

by Joel Keller, posted Jun 12th 2009 12:27PM
DTV logoWell, after announcements, commercials, and delays which generated more announcements and commercials, broadcast TV is finally being dragged into the 21st century at 12:30 pm today. That's when channels all across the country shut off their analog signals and just broadcast digitally. If you're still one of the multitudes who use an antenna and did not prepare for the transition by buying a converter -- and, according to Nielsen, 2.8 million people still aren't ready -- you'd better run out and get one now or else you're just going to see snow.

For those of you who have already made the transition, you'll notice that there are some extra channels on your TV, maybe with names like 2.1 or 2-1 or 12.13 or 13-12 or whatever. Some channels have taken advantage of the extra bandwidth DTV allows by broadcasting extra channels of specialized content. But are they worth watching? At this point, not really.

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Digital TV (DTV) Transition Reminder

by Andrew Scott, posted Jun 12th 2009 9:52AM
DTV SwitchAfter a few months delay, the 2009 Digital Television (DTV) conversion has arrived.

For most, the switch from analog to digital signals will go unnoticed. But if you're unsure whether you'll be affected, here are a few helpful hints to get you through the day:

-- If your TV is connected to cable or satellite, you will still see channels after the switch is complete. This also applies to anyone who has a digital TV (As of March 2007, a law required all TVs to be built with a digital tuner. To find out whether your TV is digital, check the labels, manual or call your manufacturer).

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Will more time make the digital TV transition any easier?

by Joel Keller, posted Jan 27th 2009 7:02PM
DTV.gov logoYesterday, the U.S. Senate followed President Obama's recommendation and approved a delay in the digital TV transition date from February 17 to to June 12. If a similar measure passes in the House, then we all know what that means: four more months of DTV transition ads! Woo hoo!

Seriously, though, will it matter if the transition date is February, June, or sometime in Obama's second administration? At this point, even the most casual observer has figured out that the transition hasn't been communicated very well to the American public. People who have cable or satellite still think that they need to buy a new HDTV or upgrade to digital cable in order to be compliant with the conversion, people who got discount coupons for converters early on have found that the coupons have expired and they can't get more, and the people who have converted are being surprised that some weak stations won't come in due to the "digital cliff effect."

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Obama wants to delay that whole digital TV thing

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 8th 2009 7:06PM
retro tvYou've seen the countless ads with the dire warnings: switch to digital TV by February 17 or you won't be able to watch any of your favorite shows and you'll have to read a book or play with your kids. And I bet your local news stations have been running various tests and a crawl at the bottom of the screen to remind you about the transition. Now it looks like it might not happen when it's supposed to..

The Obama transition team is asking Congress to extend the deadline because the way the transition has been handled hasn't been the smoothest: there's been a problem with the coupons that the government is giving out so people can get a converter box, the education on the new technology has been inadequate, and the government doesn't have the funds to make the current date a reality. Consumers unions are also asking for the date to be extended.

My sister asked me if I was ready for the digital transition, and I told her that I've been ready for years. Then I met someone last week who says she still has a small portable TV with rabbit ears. Are you ready for the change?

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Universal thinking of a Battlestar Galactica direct-to-video movie

by Joel Keller, posted Jan 3rd 2007 6:03PM
Battlestar Galactica castRegular reader Dorv sent us a link to an article at GeekMonthly.com discussing the possibility of a direct-to-video Battlestar Galactica movie. According to the site's sources, the prospects of such a telefilm being produced is contingent upon whether the show, whose ratings are declining, is picked up for a fourth season (that's been taken care of, as we found out yesterday). Likely, the movie would air on the SciFi network after it is released on DVD.

Given the show's solid fan base, a fourth season seems like a probability. And it'll be interesting to see what the freedom of the direct-to-video format -- no standards and practices, remember -- will give the show's creators. Sure, they'll reshoot scenes to show on SciFi, but who knows what we'll see on the DVD version? Maybe some naked Cylons, perhaps?

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TV goes digital in 2009

by Adam Finley, posted Feb 2nd 2006 11:02AM
tv setThey've been kicking it around for years, but the House of Representatives has finally (and barely) approved a budget legislation that requires all broadcasters to get rid of their analog signals and switch to a digital format by February 17, 2009. The new legislation also results in "modest cuts to Medicaid, Medicare and student-loan subsidies and adds $10 billion in new revenue from auctioning television airwaves to the highest bidder."  

The transfer to DTV will allow broadcasters to have one of two channels in HDTV or several channels in standard definition. Broadcasters are being told to ditch their frequencies this year, or when digital TV reaches eighty-five percent. In addition, congress will be setting up a program in which a family may be eligible for up to $80 to convert their sets to digital.


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