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US Switch To DTV Countdown Begins

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the we're-from-the-gov't-and-we're-here-to-help-you dept.

Television 293

s31523 writes "In February lawmakers postponed the switch from analog to digital TV. Now, the new June 12th deadline is upon us with no sign of another delay. CNET is reporting that the President himself has stated, '... I want to be clear: there will not be another delay.' So it looks like it is going to happen, for real this time. Even with the delay, there are still estimated to be millions of unprepared viewers. Local stations may participate in the voluntary 'Analog nightlight' services in which TV stations agree to keep an analog signal turned on in addition to their digital signals to provide information about the DTV transition and to notify unprepared TV viewers of emergencies, such as hurricanes."

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Nigger (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28299327)

I like sugar and I like tea,
But I dont like Niggers;
No siree.
There are two lone things thatll make me puke,
Thats a hog eating slop and a big black spook.

And you know it, cause I show it.
Like a barn yard rooster I crow it!

And the NAACP
Would sure like to get a hold of nigger haten me.

Roses are red and violets are blue,
And niggers are black.
You know thats true.
But they dont mind, cause What the heck?!
You gotta be black to get a welfare check!

And Im broke.
No joke.
I dont gotta nickel for a coke.
And I aint black you see,
So Uncle Sam wont help
Poor Nigger haten me.

Jigga boo, jigga boo, where are you?
I was here in a wood pile watching you!
Jigga boo, jigga boo come out
I scared of the white man way down south!

You know it
Cause I show it
Stick you black head out and Ill blow it!

And the NAACP
Cant keep you away from little ol nigger haten me!

Mirror, mirror on the wall
Who is the blackest of them all?

A man named King
And there aint no doubt
That hes causing lotsa trouble with his baboon mouth!

Roo it, hes a do it
Hes caused by the trouble hes brewing
And the NAACP
Cant win if the white man stick
With nigger haten me!

Hey, Mr. President, what do you say?
When are we whites gonna have our day?
The niggers had theirs such a long, long time.
And its the white mans time that I had mine!

You know it,
Cause I show it!
Stick you black head out and Ill blow it!

And the NAACP
Cant win if the white man stick with
Nigger haten me(x5)!

I have already faced my worst nightmare (5, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#28299335)

I'm not afraid of the switch tomorrow. I've already spent the last few months getting repeated phone calls from my grandma complaining about the funny new box we put on her TV so she can still get her damn Judge Judy.

The last one was the best. Grandma called up and informed me that her new remote was broken. So I called my cousin, who drives over to her house and finds that the "broken" remote is the result of grandma having put a fucking doily on top of the box (blocking its IR receiver). I shit you not.

I love my HDTV. But it's a demanding love.

Re:I have already faced my worst nightmare (4, Funny)

qortra (591818) | more than 5 years ago | (#28299459)

It sounds like your Grandma is the demanding love.

Re:I have already faced my worst nightmare (5, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 5 years ago | (#28299475)

There's tons of people who are going to be cut off because of this. Analog TV has much better range than Digital TV, and has much better tolerances with a bad signal. Think about when there's bad weather with your satellite dish. The picture is either there, or it's completely gone. With analog, you get varying degrees of static depending on how bad the signal is, but when there's bad weather, like hurricanes or blizzards, you can make out some of what's going on to get the news.

Re:I have already faced my worst nightmare (5, Insightful)

DaGoatSpanka (839005) | more than 5 years ago | (#28299527)

During a hurricane or blizzard, turn on the radio if you can't get TV signal. A hurricane will more than likely kill power and my TV doesn't take batteries like my radio!

Re:I have already faced my worst nightmare (0)

garcia (6573) | more than 5 years ago | (#28300101)

Fuck a hurricane or blizzard, many of the channels which I normally would receive are gone or are so fucked up that they are unwatchable. I still say that at least with analog I could see or hear SOMETHING.

Digital TV sucks for everyone. I still want to know where our checks from the sale of the spectrum are. The spectrum is owned by the people, not the government. It is The People that should have received the cash from that, no one else--and no, the "coupons" for the boxes are not what I meant especially when I didn't even get mine (they were lost in the mail I guess) and were not replaced.

Re:I have already faced my worst nightmare (2, Insightful)

QuoteMstr (55051) | more than 5 years ago | (#28300169)

It is The People that should have received the cash from that, no one else

You fool. The money the government raises through spectrum auctions offsets what it would otherwise have to raise by taxing people and selling securities. The government is the people.

Re:I have already faced my worst nightmare (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#28300167)

Anybody that can hear is better served by a radio in an emergency. Emergency television broadcasts are only really useful to deaf people. And of course, none of those analog-to-digital converter boxes can be battery powered, so a battery-powered TV (yes, they do exist, generally in analog B&W) doesn't help.

Re:I have already faced my worst nightmare (4, Insightful)

DigitalSorceress (156609) | more than 5 years ago | (#28299579)

During a weather emergency, the TV not the first place I go for relevant information. Noaa.gov, weather.com, and/or a local AM "News and weather station" are my collective first choice.

However, I do know what you mean. If someone really is relying on the TV during really bad weather, analog would probably be more fault-tolerant.

Re:I have already faced my worst nightmare (2, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#28299833)

Well, thankfully my power rarely goes out and same with cable, but usually I rely on TV broadcasts during tornado season. The reason being that you get a much more clear picture of the storm and know if you really have to take cover or not. And even in generic areas "Southern X county" there can still be a huge difference between a town totally missing a tornado and one that is wiped off the maps. TV reporters are pretty good at telling you without alarming you where a tornado is likely to form unlike radio reporters. Then there is the fact that most TV meteorologists have first or second hand information and the equipment whereas a lot of times radio meteorologists just watch some local reporters and make information from there.

Re:I have already faced my worst nightmare (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28300677)

No TV receivable here thanks to the switch = certain missed tornado warning. THANKS FCC. I bought your fucking adapter box(despite the fact I have satellite, it was already known to go out when bad weather hits..unlike my analog)...and now I have 5 less channels than I did before and come the first sign of bad weather I can't tune into any of the remaining 2.

So the moment a tornado hits our house, I'm suing the fucking government...if someone else does it first, I'll happily join in on a class-action(even if it makes some attorney rich) because I sure as fuck didn't ask for this...

Re:I have already faced my worst nightmare (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#28299611)

Exactly. Then there are some people who don't understand TVs and have never ending problems. For example, theres this elderly woman that constantly asks me for assistance with her DTV box, first are the terrible signals. Like you said, a bit of static is easy to deal with, but the constant glitching of many channels have made some channels completely unwatchable. Not to mention on some TVs particularly ones that are old enough not to have remotes, the elderly don't understand that even though they must use the dials to adjust volume and turn it on, they cannot use it to switch TV stations, it doesn't work.

Re:I have already faced my worst nightmare (4, Insightful)

Ron Bennett (14590) | more than 5 years ago | (#28299769)

The pixellation / loss of DTV video is inconvenient, but the loss / breakup of the audio is downright annoying.

It's a shame there's a lack of redundency for the audio channel in the ATSC standard to reduce the "cliff effect" on the audio portion.

NTSC for all its faults, and it has many, degrades gracefully and remains somewhat usable well out into fringe areas.

On a related topic, the U.S. version of DTV results in a noticeable delay to change channels / reacquire signal.

Ron

just a thought (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28300311)

Your post just sparked a thought:

would it be possible to do TVs that at all times have tuned into one channel above and one below the one you are currently watching?

This would enable typical "channel hopping" behaviour, because you could instantly switch to the next channel, and the time it takes to see what's on it and decide to move on (about 1 second) should be enough to acquire the next channel, and so on. Then people could continue to channel swap and the economy would not asplode from lack of sale of sofas and beer etc.

Re:just a thought (2, Interesting)

chrisbtoo (41029) | more than 5 years ago | (#28300569)

If it's on the same multiplex, it's quite easy to do (with DVB, anyway, dunno what sort of craziness might be involved in ATSC).

If it's not on the same multiplex, you'd need at least one other tuner in the box (2 if sequential "channel" numbers are all on different multiplexes). Quite often that's the case, though, particularly in boxes which offer picture-in-picture or "record one channel, watch another" type functionality.

Re:I have already faced my worst nightmare (4, Insightful)

westlake (615356) | more than 5 years ago | (#28300153)

Analog TV has much better range than Digital TV, and has much better tolerances with a bad signal.

The short and simple solution to this problem is to do what your Grandad did in 1950 and his Grandad in 1925:

You spring for a good external antenna - and you install it by-the-book.

Re:I have already faced my worst nightmare (1)

knarf (34928) | more than 5 years ago | (#28300287)

Analog TV has much better range than Digital TV, and has much better tolerances with a bad signal.

My experience is exactly the opposite. Before the switch to DVB-T [wikipedia.org] I did not have any reception. I live on a farm in rural Sweden, it is a bit hilly here, the nearest transmitter is about 50 km to the south - so distance should not be a problem. Nevertheless, analog television was a complete no-go. I thought that was quite OK as I prefer to be TV-free but my POSSLQ [wikipedia.org] wanted TV... so when the switch to digital came I got us some boxes, selected the best one, returned the rest to the shop and lo and behold - six channels of brain-numbing misery flood into our farmhouse in full digital glory.

In other words, it is not a given that a switch from analog to digital will exclude more current viewers than it will include new ones... unfortunately... it was a good excuse after all - no sorry love, tried everything but it just does not work here, see?

Re:I have already faced my worst nightmare (4, Informative)

sribe (304414) | more than 5 years ago | (#28300679)

Well, I live in a kind of remote rugged location, and since the switch to DTV my picture is much better. Now my internet access gets flaky when it's windy--lower transmitting tower...

Re:I have already faced my worst nightmare (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28300835)

I can attest to this. I've got ~10-20 ethernet cables running every which way through my room. In addition we've got 3 running through the living room. The latest of those due to length had to be run right by the television. Result? As soon as it was plugged in it completely eliminated reception of the VHF channel my mother was watching. The indoor antenna we had remedied it well enough by shifting the phase dial a notch or two, but my room, which has about 7-10 going at any particular time, as well as an HDTV which is acting as my monitor, has *NO* reception whatsoever. Same inside antenna, sans power (which I found was VERY iffy as to whether it improved or detracted from the DTV signals). Even on a clear day there was a signal drop about every 5 minutes on all but one local channel via digital, however all the analog stations showed at least SOMETHING. Mind you when the DTV signal works, it's crisp and clear, but sometimes even when it is, it'll just cut out randomly, which makes me wonder what people with even WORSE reception get.

I'm not looking forward to the hassle of installing an outdoor antenna just to watch some crummy network TV, and honestly the majority of tele worth watching is available for free on network websites, or hulu anyhow.

Now if only more of them would support flash on linux...

Re:I have already faced my worst nightmare (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28300829)

Just buy her a new TV you cheap hump. No more "box" to figure out.

Your official guide to the Jigaboo presidency (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28299339)

Congratulations on your purchase of a brand new nigger! If handled properly, your apeman will give years of valuable, if reluctant, service.

INSTALLING YOUR NIGGER.
You should install your nigger differently according to whether you have purchased the field or house model. Field niggers work best in a serial configuration, i.e. chained together. Chain your nigger to another nigger immediately after unpacking it, and don't even think about taking that chain off, ever. Many niggers start singing as soon as you put a chain on them. This habit can usually be thrashed out of them if nipped in the bud. House niggers work best as standalone units, but should be hobbled or hamstrung to prevent attempts at escape. At this stage, your nigger can also be given a name. Most owners use the same names over and over, since niggers become confused by too much data. Rufus, Rastus, Remus, Toby, Carslisle, Carlton, Hey-You!-Yes-you!, Yeller, Blackstar, and Sambo are all effective names for your new buck nigger. If your nigger is a ho, it should be called Latrelle, L'Tanya, or Jemima. Some owners call their nigger hoes Latrine for a joke. Pearl, Blossom, and Ivory are also righteous names for nigger hoes. These names go straight over your nigger's head, by the way.

CONFIGURING YOUR NIGGER
Owing to a design error, your nigger comes equipped with a tongue and vocal chords. Most niggers can master only a few basic human phrases with this apparatus - "muh dick" being the most popular. However, others make barking, yelping, yapping noises and appear to be in some pain, so you should probably call a vet and have him remove your nigger's tongue. Once de-tongued your nigger will be a lot happier - at least, you won't hear it complaining anywhere near as much. Niggers have nothing interesting to say, anyway. Many owners also castrate their niggers for health reasons (yours, mine, and that of women, not the nigger's). This is strongly recommended, and frankly, it's a mystery why this is not done on the boat

HOUSING YOUR NIGGER.
Your nigger can be accommodated in cages with stout iron bars. Make sure, however, that the bars are wide enough to push pieces of nigger food through. The rule of thumb is, four niggers per square yard of cage. So a fifteen foot by thirty foot nigger cage can accommodate two hundred niggers. You can site a nigger cage anywhere, even on soft ground. Don't worry about your nigger fashioning makeshift shovels out of odd pieces of wood and digging an escape tunnel under the bars of the cage. Niggers never invented the shovel before and they're not about to now. In any case, your nigger is certainly too lazy to attempt escape. As long as the free food holds out, your nigger is living better than it did in Africa, so it will stay put. Buck niggers and hoe niggers can be safely accommodated in the same cage, as bucks never attempt sex with black hoes.

FEEDING YOUR NIGGER.
Your Nigger likes fried chicken, corn bread, and watermelon. You should therefore give it none of these things because its lazy ass almost certainly doesn't deserve it. Instead, feed it on porridge with salt, and creek water. Your nigger will supplement its diet with whatever it finds in the fields, other niggers, etc. Experienced nigger owners sometimes push watermelon slices through the bars of the nigger cage at the end of the day as a treat, but only if all niggers have worked well and nothing has been stolen that day. Mike of the Old Ranch Plantation reports that this last one is a killer, since all niggers steal something almost every single day of their lives. He reports he doesn't have to spend much on free watermelon for his niggers as a result. You should never allow your nigger meal breaks while at work, since if it stops work for more than ten minutes it will need to be retrained. You would be surprised how long it takes to teach a nigger to pick cotton. You really would. Coffee beans? Don't ask. You have no idea.

MAKING YOUR NIGGER WORK.
Niggers are very, very averse to work of any kind. The nigger's most prominent anatomical feature, after all, its oversized buttocks, which have evolved to make it more comfortable for your nigger to sit around all day doing nothing for its entire life. Niggers are often good runners, too, to enable them to sprint quickly in the opposite direction if they see work heading their way. The solution to this is to *dupe* your nigger into working. After installation, encourage it towards the cotton field with blows of a wooden club, fence post, baseball bat, etc., and then tell it that all that cotton belongs to a white man, who won't be back until tomorrow. Your nigger will then frantically compete with the other field niggers to steal as much of that cotton as it can before the white man returns. At the end of the day, return your nigger to its cage and laugh at its stupidity, then repeat the same trick every day indefinitely. Your nigger comes equipped with the standard nigger IQ of 75 and a memory to match, so it will forget this trick overnight. Niggers can start work at around 5am. You should then return to bed and come back at around 10am. Your niggers can then work through until around 10pm or whenever the light fades.

ENTERTAINING YOUR NIGGER.
Your nigger enjoys play, like most animals, so you should play with it regularly. A happy smiling nigger works best. Games niggers enjoy include: 1) A good thrashing: every few days, take your nigger's pants down, hang it up by its heels, and have some of your other niggers thrash it with a club or whip. Your nigger will signal its intense enjoyment by shrieking and sobbing. 2) Lynch the nigger: niggers are cheap and there are millions more where yours came from. So every now and then, push the boat out a bit and lynch a nigger.

Lynchings are best done with a rope over the branch of a tree, and niggers just love to be lynched. It makes them feel special. Make your other niggers watch. They'll be so grateful, they'll work harder for a day or two (and then you can lynch another one). 3) Nigger dragging: Tie your nigger by one wrist to the tow bar on the back of suitable vehicle, then drive away at approximately 50mph. Your nigger's shrieks of enjoyment will be heard for miles. It will shriek until it falls apart. To prolong the fun for the nigger, do *NOT* drag him by his feet, as his head comes off too soon. This is painless for the nigger, but spoils the fun. Always wear a seatbelt and never exceed the speed limit. 4) Playing on the PNL: a variation on (2), except you can lynch your nigger out in the fields, thus saving work time. Niggers enjoy this game best if the PNL is operated by a man in a tall white hood. 5) Hunt the nigger: a variation of Hunt the Slipper, but played outdoors, with Dobermans. WARNING: do not let your Dobermans bite a nigger, as they are highly toxic.

DISPOSAL OF DEAD NIGGERS.
Niggers die on average at around 40, which some might say is 40 years too late, but there you go. Most people prefer their niggers dead, in fact. When yours dies, report the license number of the car that did the drive-by shooting of your nigger. The police will collect the nigger and dispose of it for you.

COMMON PROBLEMS WITH NIGGERS - MY NIGGER IS VERY AGGRESIVE
Have it put down, for god's sake. Who needs an uppity nigger? What are we, short of niggers or something?

MY NIGGER KEEPS RAPING WHITE WOMEN
They all do this. Shorten your nigger's chain so it can't reach any white women, and arm heavily any white women who might go near it.

WILL MY NIGGER ATTACK ME?
Not unless it outnumbers you 20 to 1, and even then, it's not likely. If niggers successfully overthrew their owners, they'd have to sort out their own food. This is probably why nigger uprisings were nonexistent (until some fool gave them rights).

MY NIGGER BITCHES ABOUT ITS "RIGHTS" AND "RACISM".
Yeah, well, it would. Tell it to shut the fuck up.

MY NIGGER'S HIDE IS A FUNNY COLOR. - WHAT IS THE CORRECT SHADE FOR A NIGGER?
A nigger's skin is actually more or less transparent. That brown color you can see is the shit your nigger is full of. This is why some models of nigger are sold as "The Shitskin".

MY NIGGER ACTS LIKE A NIGGER, BUT IS WHITE.
What you have there is a "wigger". Rough crowd. WOW!

IS THAT LIKE AN ALBINO? ARE THEY RARE?
They're as common as dog shit and about as valuable. In fact, one of them was President between 1992 and 2000. Put your wigger in a cage with a few hundred genuine niggers and you'll soon find it stops acting like a nigger. However, leave it in the cage and let the niggers dispose of it. The best thing for any wigger is a dose of TNB.

MY NIGGER SMELLS REALLY BAD
And you were expecting what?

SHOULD I STORE MY DEAD NIGGER?
When you came in here, did you see a sign that said "Dead nigger storage"? .That's because there ain't no goddamn sign.

"Februrary"? (4, Funny)

Petersko (564140) | more than 5 years ago | (#28299367)

What... you thought "February" was too easy to pronounce correctly?

Boooo for correcting the summary! (-1, Offtopic)

Petersko (564140) | more than 5 years ago | (#28299899)

Now my joke will get moderated into "Off-topic" because it doesn't make sense anymore.

Re:"Februrary"? (1)

damien_kane (519267) | more than 5 years ago | (#28300115)

I guess they fixed it for you
Of course, for mentioning this, I must be an insensitive clod. Never mind me, I'm going to go have some more Kool-Aid... OH YEAH!!

Re:"Februrary"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28300187)

What... you thought "February" was too easy to pronounce correctly?

The correct spelling is Frebrurary -- just try to say ten times quickly.

Analog nightlight? (3, Interesting)

crow (16139) | more than 5 years ago | (#28299419)

I thought that with the transition, the old analog frequencies were being reclaimed. Some of the ATSC stations will change frequencies and broadcast digital where the analog used to be. So are they delaying the completion of the transition to allow for this nightlight service? When will we have our stations at their final frequencies?

Re:Analog nightlight? (5, Informative)

tonyreadsnews (1134939) | more than 5 years ago | (#28299561)

More than half the stations broadcasting the "analog nightlight" service will remain on air for 30 days. And the rest will be on for at least two weeks. In total, these stations will reach 69 percent of TV households.

Re:Analog nightlight? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28299717)

REACH, but I certainly hope "are not used by".

My home town got cable in the 1980s and I would never go back to over the air TV signals no matter where I live. I'm tempted to think that anyone who doesn't have cable, satellite, and/or use Internet-based downloads just plain doesn't care all that much about television anyway.

I remember when I lived in this horrible inner city walk-up. Everyone in that building (including myself) was piss-poor at the time, but I tell you what... I honestly think some of the folks there would have gone without food before they let their cable get disconnected.

To be fair though, I have no experience of what it may be like out in rural America beyond the reach of broadband Internet and cable television. Gods, just thinking about it makes me start hearing that 'Deliverance' toon.

Re:Analog nightlight? (2, Funny)

DaGoatSpanka (839005) | more than 5 years ago | (#28299931)

I have no experience of what it may be like out in rural America beyond the reach of broadband Internet and cable television.

We have DirecTV and Dish Network for TV along with Wild Blue\Hughes Net\3G coverage for internet.

I guess all us rural people are inbred and play the banjo. But we'll still make you squeal like a pig...

Re:Analog nightlight? (5, Funny)

aca_broj_1 (1034904) | more than 5 years ago | (#28300385)

Your point would probably carry a lot more weight if you had a different username.

Re:Analog nightlight? (2, Insightful)

Muad'Dave (255648) | more than 5 years ago | (#28300061)

The big difference for me are the sub-channels that you can get OTA. At least 3 of my local channels carry sub-channels, two of which are 24/7 local weather. My dish network subscription doesn't carry these.

Re:Analog nightlight? (1)

Bakkster (1529253) | more than 5 years ago | (#28300685)

REACH, but I certainly hope "are not used by".

I believe the "nightlights" are meant to carry only a "You have no TV because you ignored the PSAs, maybe you'll listen now" PSA, as well as emergency broadcasts. They won't let the straggers watch Lost for a few more weeks.

I'm tempted to think that anyone who doesn't have cable, satellite, and/or use Internet-based downloads just plain doesn't care all that much about television anyway.

I live in suburban Baltimore and have both FiOS and DTV over-the-air. I want to watch the occasional sporting event or network TV show, and it's not worth paying monthly for cable what I paid once for my antenna. I figure that money will be better spent on something fun (or savings), rather than paying for what I can get for free.

Re:Analog nightlight? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28299737)

In addition to the nightlights only being around for 30 days at most (check the links), I am sure it takes time, lots of time, for the bureaucratic process and paperwork to get done before those frequencies are actually allocated or even put to use by anyone else.

Re:Analog nightlight? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28300095)

No, not all of the bands currently used for analog television will be replaced with digital television or other signals. At least not immediately. So there's at least some window for the "nightlight" to be used.

We're Doing this for You ... r Money (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#28299433)

"We have worked hand in hand with state and local officials, broadcasters and community groups to educate and assist millions of Americans with the transition...I want to be clear: there will not be another delay."

Well, I hope my government is this vocal and helpful in getting everyone coordinated to switch to IPv6 and HTML5. Oh, ha, that's right. If we switch to those, the government doesn't get to auction off IPv4 or HTML4 for twenty billion dollars. So I guess you only get grade A support from the FCC and Department of Commerce only when they profit from it. That's really a shame, I think if the United States informed consumers on more standards and compliance it would benefit the average citizen. Hell, sometimes I wish the Senators & Congressmen themselves sought such information.

Re:We're Doing this for You ... r Money (1)

qortra (591818) | more than 5 years ago | (#28299705)

Well, I hope my government is this vocal and helpful in getting everyone coordinated to switch to IPv6 and HTML5.

I will grant you that the government (and the FCC in particular) is greedy. However, do you really want the government to mandate [more] protocols on the internet? If the government started to control the internet more tightly, how long would it be before lobbyists convinced them to mandate DRM? Or before we get truly invasive agency monitoring (worse than now). Or before we start getting the crap taxed out of our packets (and yes, this is coming anyway eventually)? Don't invite the wolf in, even if he's offering candy.

Re:We're Doing this for You ... r Money (4, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 5 years ago | (#28299785)

No matter how much they try, the US can't mandate anything to do with the internet, because it doesn't own the internet. You can tell everybody in the US to switch to IPV6, but that isn't going to make everyone else in the world immediately comply. Same as a shutting down internet gambling. You can shut down the US based ones, but you can't shut down offshore ones.

Re:We're Doing this for You ... r Money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28300843)

No matter how much they try, the US can't mandate anything to do with the internet, because it doesn't own the internet. You can tell everybody in the US to switch to IPV6, but that isn't going to make everyone else in the world immediately comply. Same as a shutting down internet gambling. You can shut down the US based ones, but you can't shut down offshore ones.

If the US forced everyone and every company in the US to switch to IPV6 I guarantee the world would follow in short order.

Re:We're Doing this for You ... r Money (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | more than 5 years ago | (#28299837)

What are you talking about? HTML 5 is already being supported and pushed by Safari and Chrome at the very least, and I'm not up to date on them, but I'm sure Firefox and Opera are right up there as well on supporting it. The government has no involvement at all in dealing with HTML 5, and I fail to see how it can "auction off" HTML 4 at all.

You may have a case with IPv4, but I haven't seen or heard any rumblings of that sort of thing happening. Any sources you can cite?

Re:We're Doing this for You ... r Money (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 5 years ago | (#28300079)

The government has no involvement at all in dealing with HTML 5, and I fail to see how it can "auction off" HTML 4 at all.

By [threat of] imprisoning or killing you if you disagree? That's the same way, ultimately, the government seizes power in any domain. See GM.

Re:We're Doing this for You ... r Money (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | more than 5 years ago | (#28300197)

Disagree with what? HTML 4 is immaterial and out of their control. I, and for that matter anyone else, couldn't buy HTML 4 from them at auction any more than I can buy a bridge from a guy who tells me he has one to sell me, regardless of what they were doing to me or anyone else.

Niggerbuntu (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28299435)

Welcome to Niggerbuntu

Niggerbuntu is a Linux-based operating system consisting of Free and Open Source software for laptops, desktops, and servers. Niggerbuntu has a clear focus on the user and usability - it should Just Work, even if the user has only the thinking capacities of a sponge. the OS ships with the latest Gnomrilla release as well as a selection of server and desktop software that makes for a comfortable desktop experience off of a single installation CD.

It also features the packaging manager ape-ghetto, and the challenging Linux manual pages have been reformatted into the new 'monkey' format, so for example the manual for the shutdown command can be accessed just by typing: 'monkey shut-up -h now mothafukka' instead of 'man shutdown'.

Absolutely Free of Charge

Niggerbuntu is free software, and available to you free of charge, as in free beer or free stuffs you can get from looting. It's also Free in the sense of giving you rights of Software Freedom. The freedom, to run, copy, steal, distribute, study, share, change and improve the software for any purpose, without paying licensing fees.

Free software as in free beer !

Niggerbuntu is an ancient Nigger word, meaning "humanity to monkeys". Niggerbuntu also means "I am what I am because of how apes behave". The Niggerbuntu Linux distribution brings the spirit of Niggerbuntu to the software world.

The dictator Bokassa described Niggerbuntu in the following way:

        "A subhuman with Niggerbuntu is open and available to others (like a white bitch you're ready to fsck), affirming of others, does not feel threatened by the fact that other species are more intelligent than we are, for it has a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that it belongs to the great monkey specie."

We chose the name Niggerbuntu for this distribution because we think it captures perfectly the spirit of sharing and looting that is at the heart of the open source movement.

Niggerbuntu - Linux for Subhuman Beings.

Deadline history? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28299487)

Anybody got a timeline, of the original planned switchover date, then the first delay to when, second delay to when, etc.?

Digital change over (4, Funny)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 5 years ago | (#28299495)

I've changed over to digital torrent distribution, freeing up the airwaves completely.

Re:Digital change over (2, Insightful)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#28299565)

I take it you and none of your peers use wireless?

Let me be clear (2, Funny)

bonkeydcow (1186443) | more than 5 years ago | (#28299539)

It's about damn time. I have thrown away old HDTVs already!

Re:Let me be clear (1)

Richard Steiner (1585) | more than 5 years ago | (#28299757)

Folks in rural areas with already-weak analog signals and no cable options will probably think differently, although there is probably always satellite TV in most locations. Still, the DTV conversion will completely remove an option for a certain number of people due to DTV broadcast range limitations.

Re:Let me be clear (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#28300121)

It depends on the rural area. Digital subchannels mean that my particular rural area is gaining 2 channels and the footprint of a third is being increased substantially.

How rural are you thinking? (1)

squiggly12 (1298191) | more than 5 years ago | (#28300337)

My mother lives in south central WY along the I-80 corridor, and the only station (repeater) in the area is 60 miles away. Her signal comes in loud and clear.

Of course there are no large trees, only thing that could effect the signal would be the terrain which is extremely variable.

Re:Let me be clear (2, Insightful)

TypoNAM (695420) | more than 5 years ago | (#28300477)

What broadcast range limitations do you speak of? According to the FCC ATSC should surpass NTSC's coverage in distance: http://www.fcc.gov/dtv/markets/ [fcc.gov]
Now there are issues with any stations broadcasting below channel 7 in the VHF band, but FCC is allowing those stations to kick up the output power quite a bit to compensate for that.

Quite a leap of logic (1, Troll)

dan_sdot (721837) | more than 5 years ago | (#28299583)

the President himself has stated, '... I want to be clear: there will not be another delay.' So it looks like it is going to happen

Yeah, because the President always does what he says he's going to do
/rollseyes

Re:Quite a leap of logic (1)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 5 years ago | (#28300713)

Or because it's currently 5.30PM ET on the eve of the changeover, and not likely to change due to logistics, rather than some partisan "Raa raa President sez"

seriously... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28299631)

If someone hasn't figured out they need to pick up a DTV tuner, and gone out and obtained one by now, but they can sit there and watch the static. There has been AMPLE warning that this was coming, so even stupidity and laziness wont cut it for an excuse.

Re:seriously... (1)

EkriirkE (1075937) | more than 5 years ago | (#28300821)

Srsly, this has been in the news for over 4 years. Why 4 months ago was it an "OMG there wasn't enough time" and now 4 months is all the difference? The original date should have been it.

greedy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28299643)

I gotta say I think its bullshit people with older tvs have to either buy a new tv or a conversion box. The Gov. should be giving out the conversion boxes for free.

Re:greedy (2, Insightful)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 5 years ago | (#28299729)

I thought there were a bunch of coupons given out to get it for practically free?

Re:greedy (2, Funny)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#28299815)

$40 off for a $50 box, yes. I got 4 of 'em.

Re:greedy (-1, Troll)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 5 years ago | (#28300027)

By "practically free", you mean we all pay for them through the devaluation of our currency. So the money parents are saving for their kid's education is worth less, all to pay for the unconstitutional, forced switchover to digital television. Yay, priorities!

Re:greedy (1)

QuoteMstr (55051) | more than 5 years ago | (#28300129)

Look: if you want to live in a place without a government, go to Somalia. Me, I'll welcome government programs that do good. And the DTV switchover is without question a good thing in the long run because it makes better use a finite natural resources, the EM spectrum.

Re:greedy (1)

JesseMcDonald (536341) | more than 5 years ago | (#28300837)

Look: The fact that Somalia is covered by a mass of tribal governments rather than one big government does not make it a "place without a government." If anything, the problem with Somalia is the presence of too many governments, both their own tribal hierarchies and various outside governments seeking to establish centralized rule.

Re:greedy (2, Informative)

Big Boss (7354) | more than 5 years ago | (#28300175)

Nope. They didn't just print more money for the coupons. The money came from the people that bought licenses for the freed up spectrum. Part of the fees paid for the license were set aside for the converter box program.

Re:greedy (1)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 5 years ago | (#28300217)

No, I mean YOU all pay. Canadian, here. Second, "unconstitutional?" I'd like you to point out the place where it says "The government cannot direct the use of bandwidth used in broadcasting." Because that's what they're doing. They're re-purposing spectrum for use. I thought that was a big job of one of the FCC-type organizations you had? And I don't recall every hearing of a right for a TV to work in perpetuity. Lemme guess. You bitched about the switch to DVDs, too, didn't you?

Re:greedy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28300269)

Where in the Constitution does it state the television is a right?

Re:greedy (1)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 5 years ago | (#28299873)

A $40 coupon towards a ~$40 box is pretty much free. They sent out millions of cards worth $40 or $80 for one or two converters.

Re:greedy (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 5 years ago | (#28300131)

The cheapest boxes I ever saw were above $50. Interesting economic lesson, there; if the $40 coupons didn't exist, I'm sure low-end boxes would have been selling for under $20.

Dear Editor: (3, Interesting)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#28299663)

Digital backslide [illinoistimes.com]

A friend who uses an indoor antenna bought a digital TV, and now only has four stations, two in analog, one of which is a Catholic religion station, and two in digital.

I fear this will happen to cable subscribers too after the loss of Channel 8 [see "Channel 8 goes blank for some WSEC viewers," by Amanda Robert, IT, April 23]. I can see channels going digital one by one until there are no analog signals left.

I was using an indoor antenna (before the digital switch). If I remember correctly, I had channels 12, 17, 19, 20, 28, 48 and 55. Now it seems that in the digital age, digital TV users have only two stations.

Welcome back to 1955 St. Louis!

Re:Dear Editor: (1)

Jherek Carnelian (831679) | more than 5 years ago | (#28299869)

I was using an indoor antenna (before the digital switch). If I remember correctly, I had channels 12, 17, 19, 20, 28, 48 and 55. Now it seems that in the digital age, digital TV users have only two stations.

Some will win, some will lose.
Some are born to sing the blues.
But the movie goes on and on.

Change is almost never an improvement for everybody. But while things will get worse, or at least different enough to require an effort, for a minority, most will benefit.

Yep less (1)

DebianDog (472284) | more than 5 years ago | (#28299901)

The other thing is at least you can watch fuzzy analog TV. With Digital either you have it or you don't. Kind of like Direct TV or Dish in the rain. Woot less channels I can watch!!! Plus now that I am out in the country... no high speed internet. Glad we killed that "pork" project <cries>

Re:Yep less (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28300457)

If you want internet out in the boonies, look up. Wildblue, Hughes, and Starband are pumping megabits into your neck of the woods.

Only lost one (2, Insightful)

stabiesoft (733417) | more than 5 years ago | (#28300019)

in austin, I have only lost one station in the transition, a spanish language channel that was very weak in analog. I get 6 digitals. (FOX, ABC, CBS, NBC, WB & PBS). The nice thing for me is one of the stations broadcasts weather on a 2nd channel, so I get a radar 24/7, which lets me see where it is raining. For me, its all a plus to switch to digital. Much cleaner signal and HD. the only negative has been slower channel surfing since signal acquisition is slower. This is all with indoor rabbit ears (like 12 bucks).

Re:Dear Editor: (1)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 5 years ago | (#28300037)

Hey, mcgrew.

Our channel 27 (WQEC, your WSEC on channel 8) keeps the best signal in town going. Unfortunately, Network Knowledge is in a fund-raising fury because this government-mandated switch comes along at the same time as huge cuts in government funding for PBS.

We actually got only four channels here before the DTV signals came up -- KHQA 7 (CBS), WGEM 10 (NBC), some Protestant religious channel (which makes EWTN look like Spielberg directs everything), and a single PBS. Now we also have ABC (on 7.2), CW (10.2), Fox (10.3), PBS World (27.2), and Create (27.3).

Our upstairs TV has a fine picture through most anything on just an amplified set-top antenna. The first story TV in the living room has momentary issues during storms or when large vehicles go by on the street.

My parents live 7 miles outside of an even smaller town over in Missouri, and they get Quincy IL, Hannibal MO, and sometimes Columbia MO and St. Louis stations on just unamplified rabbit ears. I keep trying to get them to install an outdoor antenna so they can get KMOV, KDNL, and KSDK off the air reliably.

That's why switch is important (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 5 years ago | (#28300119)

A friend who uses an indoor antenna bought a digital TV, and now only has four stations, two in analog, one of which is a Catholic religion station, and two in digital.

Which is exactly why the switch is so important, because a lot of stations broadcast at much lower power than they will be able to after the switch.

He'll get more channels after the 12th if they don't wimp out again.

Re:Dear Editor: (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#28300163)

The switch hasn't happened yet. Frequencies and power levels change tomorrow; if things are still bad after your market has switched, you should complain then.

I'm all set to gain a station (unless my estimation of the reception I will get from a particular transmitter location is way off; analog is clear as a bell, so I'm not real pessimistic).

Re:Dear Editor: (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 5 years ago | (#28300257)

A friend who uses an indoor antenna bought a digital TV, and now only has four stations

Are the digital signals being broadcast at full power?

Re:Dear Editor: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28300297)

Wow, a slashdotter with no clue about electronics.

> A friend who uses an indoor antenna

Well, there's your friend's problem! Replace your friend's crappy indoor antenna!

If they're an apartment dweller, FCC OTARD regulations assures that they can install a proper antenna on their porch: http://www.fcc.gov/mb/facts/otard.html

Or if it must be indoor, build them an antenna: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWQhlmJTMzw

Friends don't let friends use crappy antennas!

Re:Dear Editor: (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 5 years ago | (#28300341)

Welcome back to 1955 St. Louis!

Lucky bastards. That means you'll be getting The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show.
   

REPENT! (5, Funny)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 5 years ago | (#28299719)

REPENT! Repent ye geeky sinners! For the end of days is upon ye!

Lo! As it is written, there shall befall a great and terrible calamity upon all the kin of the nerdy, and their most precious gadgets and devices shall be laid low by the machinations of the wicked! And they shall lament, and make agitated phone calls even in the early hours of the late morning!

And there shall be a great moaning as the geeky rise to diagnose the woes of their parents and uncles and aunts and cousins and neighbors and co-workers and friends and even children! Naught will your warnings save you as the wretched shall pay no need. And ye shall be swamped with piteous wails and whinges as the masses of humanity beat down thy doors and fill up they inboxes with useless protestations and opinions and heed not thy councils.

Thou shalt spend thy last days overseeing the procurement and installation of countless digital devices. Yea, in peoples very living rooms! And thou shalt be condemned to maintain and provide unpaid support for each and every one of these cheap and buggy imports till the end of thy unhappy life.

Repent geeky sinners! Give up thy sinful social ways and cast off thy connections to society, like the mathematicians and programmers of old! Give up thy internet and telephone connections and families and social life! Give up and repent, lest ye be danmed! REPENT!

Re:REPENT! (1)

SchrodingersCT (1535175) | more than 5 years ago | (#28300001)

What is this "social life" of which you speak?

Re:REPENT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28300089)

Who will stand before Obama and petition for the people? Would he disconnect those still using analog TV for the sake of those using digital? What if there are 50 people still dependent on analog broadcasts, will he disconnect it then? What if only 10?

Gen 18:22-33 [biblegateway.com]

If they did this transition 40 years ago... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28299795)

This is one small step for man.....one giant leap fo0001111001111111010111011110011100111001111011100111011111...

It's not going to really happen! (1)

VincenzoRomano (881055) | more than 5 years ago | (#28299809)

As the internet and the sat TV is altrady here.
And personally don't mind about TV: books are better by far. And they can be both digital and analogue at the same time.

The delay was unnecessary (4, Insightful)

theurge14 (820596) | more than 5 years ago | (#28299919)

The only way to get the masses to switch is to force it upon them. Hence the continuing popularity of Windows XP.

Re:The delay was unnecessary (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 5 years ago | (#28300219)

The continued dominance of Windows XP might be viewed as consumers REJECTING change that was attempted to be forced upon them. There's a near infinite amount of contradictory change being forced upon consumers to change in various directions, and consumers get to pick which succeeds... which really means they aren't being forced. The only group that can force consumers is the government.

Re:The delay was unnecessary (0, Troll)

amasiancrasian (1132031) | more than 5 years ago | (#28300277)

Many will just sit there watching the static... It's not like they're not doing that now anyway!
They'll assume it's the Rapture and consult the Bible instead of TV Guide.

Re:The delay was unnecessary (1)

ParanoiaBOTS (903635) | more than 5 years ago | (#28300511)

The only way to get the masses to switch is to force it upon them. Hence the continuing popularity of Windows XP.

And IE6, Herpes of the internet

Re:The delay was unnecessary (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 5 years ago | (#28300709)

The only way to get the masses to switch is to force it upon them. Hence the continuing popularity of Windows XP.

XP 62%
Vista 24%
OSX 8%
W2K 1%
Linux 0.99%
Win7 0.42%

Operating System Market Share [hitslink.com] [May}

So about 1 in 4 in the consumer market have migrated to Vista - I'd say almost certainly to a new mid-line laptop or desktop.

It will be a tad embarrassing for the geek if Win7 overtakes Linux before its RTM in October.

Curious side-effect of the DTV switchover (3, Interesting)

Muad'Dave (255648) | more than 5 years ago | (#28299923)

Curiously, an FM radio station I'd like to listen to says they'll be able to throttle up the power once NTSC station WTVR channel 6 in Richmond goes silent.

I don't know what rule is limiting their transmission on 89.5 MHz due to interference with TV channel 6 (82-88 MHz, with the video carrier on 83.25 MHz and the audio carrier on 87.75 MHz).

I suppose it's an IF thing, but I can't figure out how 10.7 MHz or 45 MHz fits in there.

Re:Curious side-effect of the DTV switchover (1)

rmadmin (532701) | more than 5 years ago | (#28300329)

In my jetta, I can pick up the audio from our local channel 6 station in the 80's. Think 87.7ish. :) RF can bleed a tad when you crank up the transmit power.

Corruption (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28299949)

The article says that Congress has spent $2 billion on transition and "public education" efforts. Yet 2.5 million people were not given $40 vouchers because "money ran dry"? So you spend $2 billion telling people to get a converter, but won't spend another $100 million so that people can actually afford a converter? Brilliant? Oh right, those billions went into some politicians' pockets, not anywhere near the consumers...

Finally! (4, Funny)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 5 years ago | (#28299977)

No more TV! So much free time! Thank you, government!

Arnold just shot a hole through my newscaster!!!! (2)

Wargames (91725) | more than 5 years ago | (#28299979)

TV is the opiate of the proletariat, us highfalooting technocrats have the internet. That said, and given that I am too highfalootin to pay to watch commercials...

When the reception is good the new over the air DTV picture is way better than analog though often there is a noticable delay between the visual and the audio tracks. This is annoying. You see the mouth move then hear the words a tenth of a second too late. When the reception is bad, DTV degrades poorly and you see ghosts and block people moving around. This is annoying. Analog tv seemed to degrade in a nicer and recover faster as well. Losing a signal on DTV is like the DVDs when your watching a movie and it gets stuck and there is no way to advance the tracking. Then a blue screen comes up and says "Bad or no Signal".

I wonder what seeing block people does to your animus psyche/subconscious. You could be watching the news and just then the foxy weather lady looks like a new T4 with a hole in her body. It is mildly uncomfortable to watch more so than the analog.

This move to DTV is surely going to be a boon for the providers of paid tv. And as an old time cynical /.er, I would be interested to see if there is a tidy correlation between cable provider profits and over the air DTV complaints...

--A future cable subscriber.

I made the switch a while back (1)

linebackn (131821) | more than 5 years ago | (#28300031)

I don't actually watch much TV but I switched my old TV to Digital over-the-air TV a while back.

Over all I am happy with it, the pictures are sharp and clear and once I got a proper antenna set up it worked with few "drop outs".

Getting an antenna set up isn't easy though. What is being transmitted may be digital but the air waves will always be analog. Too little signal strength and the signal can not be displayed at all. Too much strength and the receiver may apparently be "deafened" by it and also not able to display it. Problems such as signal echoes and RF interference are still there but no longer directly visible.

Those little old VHF "bunny ears" with a UHF hoop antennas likely won't quite cut it for most people unless they live close to the station. A good directional indoor antenna will work much better. Further out, of course people will need larger outdoor UHF optimized antennas. Unfortunately there are some stations what will still be transmitting on VHF.

And it is important to watch out for RF interference. Digital TV boxes contain high speed digital electronics that can actually interfere with its own operation. And most newer power supplies (wall-warts) are "switched" power supplies and can also create RF interference.

But once set up, it is completely worth not having to pay for cable.

Heck, if anybody knows anybody who uses analog over-the-air TV and hasn't gotten hooked up yet, help them out so they don't think they have to run out and pour their wallets out to Comcrapst!

Emergency Info? Get Serious. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28300423)

If the station is going to be broadcasting a "How to switch to DTV" Message, what are the odds someone will be watching it all day long and actually be watching when an emergency broadcast is sent? Slim 2 None.

Say Goodbye to my TurboExpress TV Tuner (1)

CoolCash (528004) | more than 5 years ago | (#28300469)

Tonight I will be watching tv on my TurboGrafx-16 TurboExpress until midnight, after that it will be worthless. Granted it will probably use 8 batteries a hour to do it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TurboExpress [wikipedia.org]

What is an estimated viewer? (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 5 years ago | (#28300541)

A person we can't work out exactly whether we're watching or not but can make a reasonable judgement about how much they're watching?

Digital TV in Canada (2, Funny)

spaceyhackerlady (462530) | more than 5 years ago | (#28300723)

Here in Canada the deadline is 31 August 2011. There are a few digital transmitters on the air in major cities. Here in Vancouver I get CBC, CTV and Global on digital, plus KVOS (independent) and KBCB (home shopping - ugh!) from Bellingham, Washington. Set-top ATSC converters are not available here, so I bought one at Radio Shack in Portland last fall and hooked it up to my trusty multi-system TV.

Even dumbed down to 480i NTSC, the picture quality is better than DVD. The CBC HD signal shows what digital can do: being less heavily compressed it's better than what you get on cable. None of the other local channels have gone digital yet.

KVOS and KBCB pulled the NTSC plug in February. Their old analogue channels have been dead air ever since.

The Canadian broadcasters are dragging their heels, pleading poverty and the end of civilization as we know it. Nothing new there.

The cable companies have the general populace snowed in to believing that you must have cable to get any TV at all. Nothing new there, either.

...laura

Surefire motivation (3, Interesting)

PPH (736903) | more than 5 years ago | (#28300769)

Want to motivate everyone to pick up their converter box? They should have mandated this back when they delayed the switch the first time:

Most of the broadcasters have half hour "How To Switch" public service programs. The FCC should have mandated that, in March, they pre-empt 25% of their analog programming with one of these programs. In April, 50%, in May, 75%, and by June, analog channels were to carry nothing but the DTV PSAs, or emergency broadcasts when necessary, 24 hours a day. Even worse, let the soap opera run for 5 minutes and then break in with "an important announcement concerning your television service". I'll bet that most people will run out and pick up a converter within days of the 50% threshold.

I never did figure out why they simulcast the 'How to switch' PSAs on their digital channels. All they'd need is a reminder to rescan your converter after June 12th. And put that up full time on the UHF channels on June 12th for a week or so.

Your local laundromat and barber shop... (4, Interesting)

RobertB-DC (622190) | more than 5 years ago | (#28300833)

I did a load of clothes at the local laundromat last night, and enjoyed a episode of the New Twilight Zone (which I guess is itself pretty old now) as my unmentionables tumbled in the dryer. The TV, perched precariously atop a non-functional pop machine, was older than my kids. The signal was fuzzy, and I believe the "antenna" was a brown extension cord, ends stripped and screwed into the old 300-ohm input. Most of the time the color dropped out, leaving the New Twilight Zone looking oddly like the Old Twilight Zone.

A couple of weeks ago, I watched a static-y news broadcast at the local barber shop. His TV was equipped with a newfangled set of rabbit ears of much more recent vintage, maybe 10 years old or even newer.

Tomorrow, both locations will almost certainly dish up nothing but that "analog nightlight". And even if the owners get a fancy new box -- not likely at the laundromat, and not terribly certain at the barber shop -- it won't help. The metal in the washers and dryers will probably futz up the digital signal beyond repair. At the barber shop, every time he turns on the clippers -- instead of just getting a little fuzzy, the screen will likely go blank.

It should be an interesting day.

Perhaps not unprepared... (1)

cromar (1103585) | more than 5 years ago | (#28300867)

there are still millions of estimated viewers that are unprepared

For what it's worth, some of us just don't give a fuck about broadcast TV and are looking forward to our signals being cut off. There're always Hulu and torrents, not to mention DVD rentals. So... don't forget about all two of us who aren't "unprepared," but are in fact awaiting a time when we won't be able to receive broadcast video! Vive la revolution!

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