Wednesday, July 08, 2009, posted by Q6 at 5:40 AM
As I've stated before, this transition from analog to digital television was never going to work out perfectly. We tried it in February, and everyone complained that they weren't ready. We did it in June, regardless of who was ready, and now they're just dissatisfied with the result: those who still rely on analog signal, or those with converter boxes, complain of the signal strength problems we knew were going to occur.* My question is this: What do they want us to do about it?

There are people who get along fine without television. There are families that get along fine without it. Hell, there are countries that seem to function without three televisions in every home (not counting my now-defunct Sony Watchman, I have three in my house).

The only hole I can find in my logic here is this: television has become a the primary medium for delivering information, important emergency stuff included. Radio fell by the wayside a long time ago as a dominant medium, and newspapers are dying a steady-paced death. In order to remain a well-informed populace, I suppose we need to make sure that everyone has access to a TV signal. (President Obama made this point not long ago, and thank God it's the only point he's tried to make on the subject.) Then again, if we look at the weekly TV ratings, it's really just the crime dramas and half-hour sitcoms in the top ten--Southern California's ratings show "American Idol" and "So You Think You Can Dance" as the top shows, which just makes my "we don't need TV anymore" argument for me.

Should we worry about those who don't have TV anymore? Are they really missing all that much?

* You know who else really loses in the analog-to-digital switch? SETI. If you've ever seen the opening sequence from the movie Contact, you'll remember that the shot zooms away from Earth as we hear our broadcast history run in reverse, the signal finally dying away as we zoom back further than we've been broadcasting. If there are any little green men out there listening, they may get the idea that we've closed up shop.

At 7:55 AM, Anonymous Wife

Now I feel like the aliens will never come and collect me!

Did you wanna try to turn off our TVs during that 'Turn off your TV' week?