Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Is the Digital TV Changeover Really Just a Big Gift to the Broadcasters at the Expense of Consumers?

2/18/2009--Why should the public have to pay anything more in order to see ad-filled crappy TV channels that are packed with celebrity news and reality TV junk, along with a few programs featuring actors and writing?

The airwaves belong to the people, but they are occupied by mega-corporations, which, thanks to digital TV, will have many more channels to fill with junk.

To compensate, the 5 mega-media corporations are giving up their "analog" channels (the one our TV's currently can pick up). Originally, when the U.S. Congress approved the digital TV switchover in the 1990's, the promise was that we would now have all these local-owned stations. Instead, a few years ago the Bush administration auctioned those channels off to AT & T and Verizon, the U.S.'s 2 phone monopolies, so they can SELL us more cell phone services.

Call or write your congresspeople now!
This is a ripoff!

About a quarter of the nation's TV stations cut off their analog signals Tuesday, causing sets to go dark in households that were not prepared for digital television despite two years of warnings about the transition.

Though most viewers were ready - and people with cable or satellite service were unaffected - some stations and call centers reported a steady stream of questions from frustrated callers.

"It's kind of an irritation, but I understand that everyone will have a much better picture. As far as I was concerned, they could have left things the way they were," said Dorothy Delegard, 67, of Minneapolis, who bought a converter box because a friend gave her a coupon that expired Tuesday.

Phones were ringing off the hook at a walk-in information center set up by stations in Providence, R.I.

A volunteer at the center, Jeremy Taylor, said he tried to calm agitated callers.

"I try to explain that the digital switch is not something we're doing to extort them of money," Taylor said...



Early converts to digital are fuzzy about benefits

Some report getting worse reception and fewer stations, at least for now

…The switch to digital broadcasts will free up valuable airwaves for public safety officials to improve their communications networks and for wireless companies to offer new services. And for most people, it will produce sharper pictures with better sound. Digital TV also enables broadcasters to transmit four or more programs simultaneously on new sub-channels….

No comments: