Sunday, September 14, 2008
The Transition to Digital Television
When I bought my analog tv set a few years ago, digital television was for me a hazy notion, but as the date for the conversion creeps up it is becoming more and more real. People with digital televisions and cable packages have little to worry about. But if you are like a cable-free, analog television set owner like me, you need to pay attention.
I've heard conspiracy theories that this digital transition is one more step in the government's plan for total mind control. Maybe. I've also heard rallying cries to abandon tv altogether. Good idea...I'm not a big fan of tv, but even I like to catch a few shows now and then. I got a coupon for a digital converter box...and then I let it sit in a drawer for months until my mother reminded me that it could expire.
So then I went out to get a digital converter box and then I let it sit for months...until I met Denice Rhodes, the Digital Dynamo, and she convinced me that I might want to set it up, rather than wait until the night before the conversion. There is no guarantee that your digital converter box will work.
Well, Denice, I am happy to report that my digital converter works just fine. And I could have been enjoying much clearer reception had I done so sooner. I do have extra channels, but where I once had three different local PBS stations, I now have three different channel extensions of one PBS station. I guess that evens out. And I saw a great commercial for a gadget that helps you make pancake puffs, which are apparently superior to regular pancakes, although you still have to flip them.
Unlike me, some people may not find their foray into digital television so simple. Denise works to help seniors, people in rural areas and others understand the transition for analog to digital. Many people are unaware and some who are aware and get the converter boxes still have trouble getting everything. set up. Plus, cable companies are poised to get new customers when consumer with no reception turn to them in confusion.
You can visit Denise's website, http://www.transition2dtv.com/,to get info on outreach workshops to keep seniors and others from being left in the dark.
Go to https://www.dtv2009.gov/ to get a coupon toward the price of a digital converter box.
You can also read this list of FAQ's on the digital transition from the FCC.