Digital TV transition: Got DTV Converter?

It's Digital TV transition time; got your .gov DTV converter box coupon? In IT Blogwatch, Richi Jennings watches bloggers blog the DTV transition from NTSC analog to ATSC digital television.

HDTV via rabbit ears? Let's give it a try!


Not to mention a Star Trek (TOS) communicator? There's an app. for that...

Steven Titch knows the score:

Well, it’s finally here. Anyone without cable, satellite, digital TV set or converter box woke up to the hiss and crackle of electronic snow instead of Matt and Merideth.
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President Obama also delayed the switchover, originally slated for February, to give stragglers some slack. Still ... the usual bureaucratic handwringing continued up to yesterday. But face it, people who have not made the transition by now are simply procrastinators (not that there’s anything wrong with that) or simply don’t watch TV. It’s no big deal.
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Richard Keller has his clicker at the ready, unlike many other people:

Unfortunately, it seems not all of you are aware of this change. In fact, about 2.8 million of you ... will be watching a whole lot of snow on your Philco. ... Of course, this will cause panic in those that can’t catch the latest edition of The Insider that features pictures of Kate Gosselin going to Dunkin Donuts. Well, I’m here to ease your fears. Here are a few things you can do while you contemplate the pros and cons of going digital.

Watch your favorite shows online. ... Just watch the snow. ... Talk to your significant other. ... Watch TV at a neighbor’s house. ... Just buy the damn converter box.
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But slomo doesn't care:

Here I am- I am one of those unprepared. Why? i dont really watch tv anymore and my DVD player broke awhile ago-watch movies on the computer. Still, it bothers me not to have a signal-if only for the news in an emergency. I just resent how expensive all the new, better c**p is- and I dont like the idea of another box just for converting.

Uh oh- I fear I may have a case of early onset curmudgeon.
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Aaron Barnhart says the changes aren't over yet:

Today's shutoff of local analog TV signals is not the final step in the digital transition. Now it's time for the fine tunin'!

Analog antennas will come off the towers, and the digital antennas will be readjusted — in one instance the antenna is moving from one stick to another stick several miles away — and engineers will be busy trying to squeeze the most out of their one-and-only TV signals. When it's over, the improvement will be dramatic.
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Meanwhile, according to the NAB, not much is happening.
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Not so, says Ethan, who's tearing his hair out:

I work at the local ABC and Fox affiliate here in NY, people have been calling non stop all day with questions, mostly simple antenna readjustments, but a tooooooon of people around here dont have boxes or anything and act like they have no clue what is happening.
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The EFF's Seth Schoen sounds smug:

Just a few years ago, some broadcasters and movie studios argued that this transition couldn't happen without a DRM mandate. ... And they said they would hold up and obstruct this transition unless they got their way. ... The broadcast flag concept threatened to give the entertainment industry a veto even over features of devices that want nothing to do with DRMed media.
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We and our colleagues said no. ... We lobbied the FCC. ... We went to court to stop the broadcast flag mandate from becoming law. We won. ... [But] the entertainment industries made a series of dramatic threats. They said the DTV transition would suffer.
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It's six years later and these threats have all fallen flat.
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Liz Gannes sheds a tiny tear:

Last night I went out to dinner with my dad and he brought me a little something he thought I would like. In retrospect, the gift is so close to being completely non-functional, it’s more sentimental than physical. It’s a Sony Watchman portable TV from the early ’80s, which actually works perfectly on four double-A’s. We were able to watch the NBA finals unobtrusively from the comfort of our restaurant table. The black-and-white picture is astonishingly crisp — that is, until you knock the dial, and the screen goes to static.
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So how was it for you?
Get involved: leave a comment.


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Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and spam. A 24 year, cross-functional IT veteran, he is also an analyst at Ferris Research. You can follow him on Twitter or FriendFeed, pretend to be Richi's friend on Facebook, or just use boring old email.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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