Friday, June 12, 2009

You Realize The Aliens Think We're All Dead Now, Right?

'Cos today was analog television self-immolation day, a 16+ hour day for me, on no sleep from the day before.Your analog TV has (mostly) died. Click through the over-the-air channels (yeah, "what're those." Bigosh, it was good enough for Batman and Maxwell Smart) and you may find a low-power TV station hangin' on (their doomsday comes later) and, as of right now, one or two hardliners that will keep the Sarnoff-and-Farnsworth smoke signals on 'til the very last second but by and large, the decodable NTSC signals of our youth have been replaced by digital carriers that mostly look like amplified noise. The tricks that let modern-as-tomorrow* digital TV carry a big bandwidth in the same space as kerosene-powered TV also produce middlin' good encryption as a byproduct. The other side of SETI won't find much meat in it.

Many stations ran "nightlight" messages on their analog side all day, bland announcements that run to, "...As of today, digital television is here. If you want to keep watching over-the-air TV, you will need a new D$T$V receiver or a set-top converter box. If you can't figure this nonsense out, call us, visit our web page or tattle to our Mom..."

It kinda reminds me of this:


Gotta sleep. Clowns? Ha. I seen worse in the mirror.

Update: "Poor, elderly hardest hit:" Reason Online has a round-up of the transition.
____________________
* Prove it's sarcasm. G'wan, try.

9 comments:

Alan said...

I can still fire up my transmitter and run NTSC TV on the ham bands.

As with most things archaic and RF related, hams will keep it alive.

Other than that? Good riddance, the switchover is past due.

Joanna said...

Reminds me of this.

reflectoscope said...

Grandpa Simpson: "Turn it up! Turn it up!"

As for digital, thats one more thing I'm not going to bother hooking my TV up to.

Jim

Turk Turon said...

Roberta, Alan is right! We should have snatched up those $10 vectorscopes!

danno said...

You work at a TV station? I am soooo disappointed... All this time I figured you worked on this beast: http://www.fnal.gov/pub/science/accelerator/

(I still enjoy the Starship series though)

Roberta X said...

Well...some of what I do involves television: high-power RF and overly-complicated control and signal electronics. Further, deponent sayeth not --But phantasmajectors gotta come from somewhere!

Nathan Brindle said...

No, damn it, she works on a starship.

:-D

Old Grouch said...

I note Skytrack was still on the air as of 11pm Friday. Didn't check it this morning, though...

Ken said...

"The tricks that let modern-as-tomorrow* digital TV carry a big bandwidth in the same space as kerosene-powered TV also produce middlin' good encryption as a byproduct. The other side of SETI won't find much meat in it."

Hey, I read The Killing Star. That's a feature. Works to our advantage. By the time they get wise, we'll be rolling WB-8 powered ships off the lines like Model Ts (you can get 'em any color you want, long as it's NASA white).