You may not have realized it after coming off of your President's Day Booze and Beef BBQ, but February 17th was the voluntary day for television stations to turn off those piddly analog signals and crank up their digital ones. Other than one guy shooting his television over the conversion, the switchover of about a quarter of the 1800 television stations in the U.S. went off fairly smoothly. Course, this was just the dress rehearsal. The real performance will be on June 12th, which has become the new 'no change' cut over date.
Being a proud citizen of the United States, I thought I'd take your pulse once again and find out if any stations in your viewing area cut over on Tuesday. If they did, and you were one of those remaining folks without a cable hookup, did you encounter any problems with your new digital converter box? Also, just out of curiosity, was there one major market station that remained in analog mode while the others jumped into the digital pool?
Come on, Americans! Let your voice ring out on this matter.
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."
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?
- ABC has the results show of Dancing With The Stars at 8pm, followed by a new In Justice and a new 20/20.
- CBS has repeats of Ghost Whisperer, Close To Home, and Numb3rs.
- NBC has more Olympics.
- FOX has a two hour repeat of Trading Spouses: Meet Your New Mommy at 8.
- UPN has a new Smackdown at 8, while the WB has new eps of What I Like About You, Living With Fran, Reba, and Twins.
- ABC Family has Diane Lane in Under The Tuscan Sun at 8.
- AMC has two good Bond flicks, starting at 8: Connery in You Only Live Twice, then Moore in one of his best, For Your Eyes Only.
- The Sci-Fi Channel has new eps of Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis, and Battlestar Galactica, also at 8.
- At 9, Spike has The Shawshank Redemption, while HBO2 has Clooney and Kidman in The Peacemaker.
- Also at 9: GSN has a new ep of High Stakes Poker.
- On A&E at 10, a Biography of William Shatner.
- Miller's Crossing airs on Fox Movie Channel at 10, while FLIX has Blue Steel, with Jamie Lee Curtis.
- At 11, VH-1 has a new Best Week Ever, followed by a new Web Junk 20.
- Also at 11: a new Real Time With Bill Maher, with guests Eddie Griffin, Helen Thomas, Dan Senor, and Senator Russ Feingold.
- At midnight, you can catch an episode of the classic 80s series Crime Story on American Life, while HBO has Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.
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