Television: The transition from analog to DTV

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The transition from analog signals to digital in America is still highly controversial.  Millions are ready to go, and yet there’s still a small percentage who haven’t a clue what is about to happen on June 12.   In truth, the entire transition was not handled well by the government.  The whole process began over a decade ago, but the public as a whole really wasn’t let in on until a year or so ago, and even then, they didn’t believe it was happening, not really.

Many people put off investigating digital TV.  In addition, there were a lot of problems with the coupons and the converter boxes.  The government issued $40 coupons to each household.  You could two of them, if you qualified.  The first big problem is that the coupons expired within a couple of months.  People just weren’t that much in the know early on to go out and buy the boxes.  Finally, a couple of months ago, the government allowed people with expired coupons to request new ones.  That has helped a lot.

Then there was the issue with the converter boxes.  Many merchants ran out of the quality boxes and all that remained were ones that were of lower quality.  There’s been a run on the boxes, and it’s been very difficult to get the quality boxes.

The transition was pushed back from February 17 to June 12, but even now, the day before the transition takes effect, there are people who don’t have a clue.  It’s going to be a busy weekend.

The transition process should have been a gradual one, with the different facets of the move done smoothly over time.  There also needed to be some help for low income and senior citizens.  I will say that the government has rallied around a bit by hiring the Geek Squad to install boxes for anyone who requests it.

The big question, however, is if the transition is even needed.  I’m not convinced of that, but it’s happening, and here we are.


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