Friday, March 07, 2008

Our Viewing Public

In the early days of the Great HDTV Forced Obsolescence Transition, I read that it was gonna be "...The same vast wasteland but in 16 x 9..."

Tam agrees. Colorfully.

...Ummm, okay; she is right but I've got bills to pay, so please be good little lemmings an' buy yer new HDTV sets or converters before Uncle Sam makes us pull the plug on coal-fired TV. Pleeze? We promise the plotless dreck, aerial coverage of car wrecks and panic-stricken whinging about the weather will be all sparkly-like!

PS: Yes, this means the TV on rabbit ears in the guest bedroom will not work after February TV-Doomsdayteenth, 2009. Unless Congress blinks.

12 comments:

Turk Turon said...

Snarky is as snarky does!
Glad to see that things are back to normal, er...nominal, at Roseholme Cottage.

Breda said...

absolutely positively will not work?

Oh well...no TV for us.

Roberta X said...

As far as I know, some unknown number of low-power TV stations will stay analog after the cut-off date, Breda. Used to be you could tell them by numbers in the callsign -- "W53XYZ" -- but they complained and the FCC changed that. They would be the funny little channels that came on the air in the last fifteen or so years.

And that will be that. But converter boxes to convert the digital to something the ol' B&W can tune in are available and aren't killer-expensive, even if one avoids the government-cheese ones for which Uncle Sam will give you a card that pays about half the price.

Jeff said...

What's the scoop on this whole switch to DTV anyway? I can't believe that the .gov is forcing everyone to switch over just to make our pictures prettier. I seem to remember hearing something about it freeing up frequencies that they can sell off...

With DTV will the fluorescent lights in my kitchen still mess with CH8 -WISH and CH6-WRTV? :)

Breda - we went without tee vee for a while one time after we moved. I'd do it again in a minute, but I think the rest of the family would hang me. I always say I'd be too peeved all the time if we got cable/satellite because I'd feel like I had to watch it and definitely don't have the time to get my money's worth.

Breda said...

meh. I'll just watch DVDs.

Rob K said...

So what's the effective range of DTV? I live about 30 miles from Lafayette, and 45 miles north of Indy. Am I going to be able to get broadcast TV anymore? Is it going to be constant pixelation and halting when the weather is the slightest bit bad?

phlegmfatale said...

OMFG! I just realized-- this means my Panasonic Orbitel will no longer work. Bloody hell. NOW I'm pissed-off. Me and Marshal Dillon have had many happy hours with that Orbitel. That ain't right!

http://www.sixtiesstuff.com/assets/images/TV.gif

Dr. StrangeGun said...

1 - I bought the last of the Hitachi RP CRTs, a 51" 16x9 1080i that i can't remember the model number on, brand new for six bills last year. So I'm helpin' :)

2 - I just bought one of the little ATSC decoders for my office TV (no cable in here), a Digital Stream from ratshack. The damn little thing is actually worth it. I watch my morning news crystal clear now instead of trying to decipher a fuzzy morass of ghosting (terrestrial and aircraft)and AC noise from all the old houses around here.

jed said...

Jeff, one reason, maybe the main one, is that the switch to digital, and more specifically, the cessation of analog, frees up a whole ginormous bunch of frequency spectrum. The existing analog channels are much wider than the new digital ones. So then the FCC gets to rake in a bunch of money by auctioning off the spectrum vacated by the analog channels.

Leaving aside the libertarian argument over why the feddies control spectrum, this isn't altogether a bad thing, because the competition for radio spectrum is already pretty intense, and will only get worse, as more and more devices go wireless.

As someone who watches almost zero broadcast TV, and doesn't have cable, this whole thing isn't all that interesting to me on a practical level, though I wouldn't mind getting the SciFi channel and a couple others. But I do look forward to watching HD versions of certain movies, once I can afford to get myself set up to do so, and the price of Blu-Ray drops a bit.

HTRN said...

LG is already selling their Zenith Branded DTT900(Radio shack $60), and RCA is getting ready to roll out the DTA800, and Magnavox is selling their converter box at Walmart for $50.

BobG said...

I quite like HDTV; the National Geographic stuff is good, and Battlestar Galactica and Firefly are so much better in HD.

Interesting; the word verification is smokn

Myron said...

The good thing about digital is it's ones and zeroes. You either get 'em or you don't. Not like having to adjust the aluminum foil on the rabbit ears.