Latest Digital TV Transition Hiccup: Not Enough Converter Boxes

from the best-laid-plans dept

The transition from analog to digital TV has turned into a real mess, thanks to the bungled converter-box coupon program, but also because of the ham-fisted way in which the delay of the transition's been handled. Earlier in the week, it seemed things might be getting back on track as the coupons started flowing again, but today we come to find out that officials are now worried about a shortage of boxes. You'd think somebody might have looked into the supply situation earlier, but hey, apparently it didn't really matter as long as there weren't any coupons. Once again, this illustrates how poorly the government has managed this situation. The coupon plan has been flawed from the outset, and if the government was so concerned about the supply of boxes, it should have taken steps to ensure it would be sufficient long ago. Stay tuned for another delay...
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Filed Under: confusion, converter boxes, digital tv

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  1. identicon
    Robin L. Ore, 28 Mar 2009 @ 2:29pm

    HDTV Set Top Boxes

    I agree with the comment about the frog. One of the “sleeping giant” issues with HDTV was over 2 decades of little to no knowledge about HDTV, what it is, and what it is about. As one of the original pioneers in the industry, I have been deeply involved these issues. I find that most people are just as confused now as they were then.

    Television, telephone and other communications technologies have cost we consumers more of our wealth than we have spent on automobiles. The entertainment industry is the nations # 2 export, after aerospace. Television (and radio) is the emergency broadcasting mechanism to warn the population and give instructions in a time of emergency.

    What is being “subsidized” here is the Japanese, Chinese and Indian hardware and software industry, not America’s poor people, who should not have to pay to receive what has always been free over the air broadcasting on their investment of a TV set. It may surprise you to know that the NHK, Japan’s broadcasting company, goes to the homes of Japanese citizens every year and charges them a tax on their TV set.

    The many billions of dollars of investment by Americans in new HDTV monitors and set top boxes will go primarily to these countries and companies while the US economy worsens. We are being entertained to death.

    The software, which now includes our entertainment industry, music, movies, and other media is becoming increasingly “free” due to “stealing” of revenue to artists and distributors. The money makers are the hardware manufacturers, the exhibitors of destination entertainment such as 1st run motion pictures and the advertisers. For a time, disk rentals and home delivery of disks will be popular because the picture is better than what low bandwidth can currently provide for HDTV large screens.

    Meanwhile, contrary to popular belief, the broadcasters were partially subsidized with government interest free loans and great terms on broadcasting station HDTV “head end” equipment, mostly by the same standard affiliated hardware suppliers.

    Sony, Sony, Sony…with their fists in the air like Hitler youth in a video back in the eighties are putting spyware on your computers, buying up Hollywood and all of the money to be made is not just in TV’s. It is for cameras, for disk players, for broadcasting equipment, for cable equipment, for fiber optics equipment, and for satellites, among other lesser known items. This “system”, otherwise known as the “standard” for HDTV was not supposed to end up like this, it was supposed to benefit suppliers worldwide, including American ones.

    Our once burgeoning industry was sold to Japan and later usurped by China, in really unfair trade agreements for tobacco in the 80’s, cars and airplanes in the 90’s, and beef in the 2000’s. Now, during the next decade, we will be selling our brains, because we will be brain interfaced and completely vulnerable to attack due to an unsafe network architecture and a brainwashed public.

    For a while we will have a choice, but it won’t be long before the frog starts to boil. By then, of course, it will be too late. Hold off the transition and let them sit on their stuff. We can’t afford to pave that road for them which will benefit the oil industry to power it the most. Let’s support US entrepreneurs, like myself, in our attempts to create manufacturing jobs and industry here at home. How is that for capitalism?

    Insight Member

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