Ars argues against delaying DTV transition

by Paul William Tenny

I argued a couple of days ago that the federal government should not delay the switch from analog TV signals to digital for the practical reason of everyone already having had plenty of time to buy the converter boxes that they'll need. And not everyone will need them, if you've got cable or satellite and your exclusive means of watching TV isn't via a roof-top antenna, then you're all set regardless.

If my call to stop babying people who couldn't get with the program even after four years of warning  wasn't persuasive, then perhaps this editorial from J.H. Snider of Arcs Technica will change your mind.

Snider went to the trouble of looking up some facts that I did not, such as citing that only 6% of the country still relies exclusively on over-the-air (OTA) broadcasts for television. Compared to the number of homes that still don't have broadband Internet access, it doesn't seem worth the money to buy the converter boxes for those people unless they literally cannot afford them on their own. Not surprisingly we learn from Snider that broadcasters forced the government to make these vouchers available to every household whether they needed them or not, which then lead to the allocated fund being depleted before the cutoff.

There are so many things wrong with how this transition went down that you could probably write a whole series on it and just barely scratch the surface.

Anyway, check it out, it's worth a read.

in Television


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