Friday, June 12, 2009

On DTV deadline

Sorely lacking on the evening news discussions this evening was the plight of all the people who will not be able to see their regular channels tomorrow even though they've upgraded to DTV. Even PBS' NewsHour missed this tonight, the first time I've ever seen Jeffrey Brown blow it.

If, as the Commerce Dept. stated, the reason it's urgent to switch everyone to DTV is so they can still receive emergency updates, then what about the millions of DTV upgradees who still can't receive signal?

Like my parents in rural Kentucky. Even with a large outdoor antenna they would be unable to receive anything but PBS with their DTV rig. So, they bought a satellite dish. The problem with this comes in the case of weather emergencies-- they lose signal when it rains! So, they wouldn't know that the radar says a tornado is bearing down on them. (They have a weather radio, but what about those who don't?). I don't know if the cable company ever fixed the cable TV service out there, it was out for weeks after the ice storm and there was mass exodus to satellite.

My point is that in emergencies analog TV was the best way to get information updates for everyone in the U.S., and now it's gone. DTV signals don't reach everyone.

But I guess I'm the only one upset about this.

(*note* I understand the logic that we need to free up bandwidth for emergency services... but I wonder if this whole thing wasn't lobbied for by the cable & sattelite companies to force people to switch to their services).

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