So long analog TV; it was great knowing you

June 12, 2009

Isn’t today the big big day for the transition to digital television? You can be forgiven for forgetting — in fact that’s just how the Obama administration wants it.

Ill-prepared back in February, when the U.S. was supposed to go all-digital all the time, the government decided to push back the switchover date by four months. Experts tell the Los Angeles Times that the delay should help avoid major problems, although about 2.8 million people could be left out in the cold when they try to turn on the tube.

The smart folks over at RPA, the advertising agency based in Los Angeles, put together of list of the markets that are best prepared — and those that aren’t. It cited data from The Nielsen Co, which has been studying preparations for the transition.

The best prepared areas, in order: Providence/New Bedford, Oklahoma City, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Ft. Myers/Naples and Hartford/New Haven. And the least prepared: Albuquerque/Santa Fe, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Sacramento, Seattle/Tacoma, Austin, and Los Angeles.

It could be a good weekend if you own an electronics store in Tacoma.

Keep an eye on:

  • Yahoo has hired a new finance chief to help turn right the company — former Altera and General Electric executive Tim Morse (Reuters)
  • Scribd gets a boost as Simon & Schuster agrees to add its 5,000 e-book offerings to the site (paidContent)
  • Twitter may be struggling to figure out how to make money for itself, but it is already helping Dell chalk up millions of dollars in sales (Reuters)

(Image: Reuters)


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What about all of us in rural areas where we could get VHF broadcast before today but now since the digital signal is too weak to reach our homes we are left with expensive options that many may not be able to afford. It has been determined that the right to TV is protected by the right to free speech amnedment but only if you are financially well off.

Posted by Les | Report as abusive

I too live in a rural area (my Vermont town’s population is just over 3000), and I put up with spotty cell phone service and car radio that fades when I go into some valleys, and in fact most of us here never got decent analog TV from antennas. However, I can’t say I’m persuaded to the argument that the government owes me or anyone else free TV.

Posted by Rick Bates | Report as abusive

@ Les: Life, Liberty and the PURSUIT of Happiness. THERE IS NO GUARANTEE OF HAPPINESS! Just a right to the PURSUIT of it. Read a book and get out from under the the thumb of the Idiot Box. You obviously have the internet. Personally I can find more to do on the net than broadcast television could offer.

Posted by Doker | Report as abusive


Posted by Joe | Report as abusive

Les, why do you “choose” to live where you can’t afford the “trade offs” or risks of living where you do? You chose “rural” over “urban”. Most likely your utility rates are already subsidized by more populous per sq ft or mile urban residential dweller rates and commercial and industrial user rates (yes that’s built into rates). You are further away from health services and emergency services. Why should they subsidize your “choices” when you most likely live where you do to get away from them??

Posted by LCT | Report as abusive

Les, you had over 4 years warning that this was coming. If you are so cheap not to have a satellite dish, you are getting what is coming to you. I live in a semi-rural area of Nevada where there was no broadcast TV available even on analog – so I have had a dish for a couple years. You have no “right” to be entertained. I see that you pay for internet, pony up and pay for TV too. Either that or just get a Netflix account and make due with DVDs. Either way, STOP WHINING about being persecuted – the only one stopping you from having TV is yourself!

Posted by Matt | Report as abusive

Les: “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Got it! Now in just re-reviewing that statement, I, personaly, find no instance of a guarantee toward “entertainment”. If you don’t mind telling me, just where do you see that you have a right for “entertainment”.

Posted by Richard Ranney | Report as abusive


Posted by Sophia Redreason | Report as abusive

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Posted by So long analog TV; it was great knowing you | Blogs | « Xenophilia (True Strange Stuff) | Report as abusive

If you find anything useful to watch on TV, let me know. — A friend tells me that KCBS actually cut into a soap opera to announce the DTV cut-over this afternoon.

Posted by Bill | Report as abusive

I can see how Les is upset – where I live in Indiana, I got 8 channels with my outdoor antenna. As of this afternoon, I get one. I’m torn – should I pay for TV that I used to watch for free, or just abandon TV for the internet and get the rest through Netflix and Redbox? Or is my neighbor right, and this is just a big shift by the Gov’t to get more money into the economy to offset big auto?

Posted by Jeff | Report as abusive

This whole blog was worthless. Neilsen is inaccurate to say the least. and…yes, Les just wants sympathy.

Posted by La Marque | Report as abusive

Kill your television. Read a book. Go for a walk.

Posted by JimmGrimm | Report as abusive

Having a hand-held television was helpful when we were involved with emergency support after hurricane Katrina. They were cheap enough that I could take one with me. The expensive digital alternatives won’t be going with me in the next emergency.

Posted by Timuchin | Report as abusive

@Les: You’ve been warned for four years. *NOW*, of all times, you choose to complain. And where in the amendment to free speech does it say anything about television? You can pay for Internet service. Pay for a converter box, pay for a TV with a digital tuner, pay for cable, or do nothing and watch the snow on your TV.

Posted by Nelson | Report as abusive

Turn your TV off and live and learn how to vote!

Posted by jason | Report as abusive

I care a little less now. I’d be happy watching Hee-Haw rather than put up with all the bombardment of nonsensical 2-note jingles gnawing at my ear with wanton lyrical quavers piercing through my ears forcing me to grind my teeth in despair through every 30-second commercial. Cable has more commercials than it’s worth. I just dusted my VCR and DVD players. Suddenly I care a little more about NetFlix.

Posted by Chip | Report as abusive

The BIG deal is that all though the signal is digital yet the only way to recieve the digital signal is to have a digital box. Hence the signal is encrypted; I have a analog radio yet the signals are digital yet I do recieve the digital signal via my analog radio and am happy with the SOUND that comes out of my box!!! It is another way for the government to get into your home.

Posted by DAVID | Report as abusive

For all of you with DTV reception’s problemsIf you are closed to a border you have a solution, Wach Canadian or Mexican TV!Thanks

Posted by dan | Report as abusive