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Old 01-09-2009, 05:19 PM
 
Location: NH Lakes Region
380 posts, read 1,433,570 times
Reputation: 486

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Ok, so how many people with the money to buy a new (digital) tv set are still sitting around watching a set with rabbit ears? According to the press, it is the lower income, elderly, and those in many rural areas that still have those sets, and these are exactly the people that cannot afford either a new tv set or a full-price converter. I may not believe that having 100 cable channels is a right, but taking away an easy access to information for the general public can never be a good idea - there should be some basic access available.

I read the articles about the technologies and benefits and have to admit that under all the hype, I still firmly believe that the bottom line is money. No matter what the government ends up making off the deal, though, I doubt we'll see much benefit of it...

Anyone want to suggest that any proceeds go to defray the cost of the bills that the Taxpayer is going to get to pay for the bailouts??? How about using this money for alternate energy development?

Oh, wait, what am I thinking?
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Old 01-09-2009, 07:26 PM
 
8,648 posts, read 15,470,159 times
Reputation: 4573
I'm retired so I guess I'm one of the elderly you are talking about, income is OK tho. I have rabbit ears, why, because I was tired of paying $60.00 a month to watch infomercials early in the morning when I can get the same ones free. (No I don't really watch them)

The product was bad so I got rid of it and don't miss it after 6 years. Paying for so much you don't really want.

I have DTV hooked up now and so far it's better them analog. Picture is much better, and I get NBC now, before I couldn't.

It has a 24 hour free movie channel.

So far so good.
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Old 01-10-2009, 01:36 AM
f_m
 
2,289 posts, read 7,588,571 times
Reputation: 874
Quote:
Originally Posted by juggler View Post
A slight hijack, but a related question:

Why is the government subsidizing the converter boxes with those $40 coupons? This, to me, implies that watching over-the-air TV is somehow considered a legal right, not a privilege, and the government feels obligated to compensate people for suddenly yanking away their analog TV with these subsidized converter boxes. So, why not let everyone who insists on keeping their old analog TV buy a converter box at full price? Why the subsidy?
TV is one of the main ways to send emergency broadcasts in the event of emergencies (flood, hurricane, terrorist activities, etc...). Not enabling citizens to get the signal is dangerous for the public. Did you ever see the "emergency broadcast system" signals they used to play on the TV?
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Old 01-11-2009, 03:35 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,663 posts, read 75,373,227 times
Reputation: 36174
And, from whose pockets do you think all that additional government revenue is going to come from? The consumers, of course, who have nobody to pass the cost along to. The corporations that bid for the frequencies will just pass along that added cost of doing business to the consumers. So the cost of living will, as usual, take a huge leap "forward".
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Old 01-11-2009, 03:55 PM
 
Location: Not far from Fairbanks, AK
16,723 posts, read 29,314,884 times
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Lets keep in mind that in the US a lot of the poor or folks who can't afford a $75.00 tuner still have enough money to buy a TV, a car, an ATV, a gun, a cell phone, computer, and even recreational drugs. These folks could very well allocate a portion of their money to buy a tuner if they wanted to. The poor in the US never is "poor" like the poor in Latin America or Africa. Don't forget that.

If these folks are using a roof antenna, or rabbit ears to watch their old TV's, all they need is a box or digital tuner to continue watching the free over the air digital signals. The box is the only added expense, since the free signal is received via a roof antenna, rabbit ears, or whatever they use today.
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Old 01-11-2009, 09:03 PM
 
Location: Beaverland, OR
588 posts, read 2,585,886 times
Reputation: 465
Quote:
Originally Posted by f_m View Post
TV is one of the main ways to send emergency broadcasts in the event of emergencies (flood, hurricane, terrorist activities, etc...). Not enabling citizens to get the signal is dangerous for the public. Did you ever see the "emergency broadcast system" signals they used to play on the TV?
Not to belabor the point, but I don't think this is a valid reason. When the emergency broadcast system was introduced in 1963, did the federal government give out coupons to enable people who didn't own TVs to buy one? Nope.

You can argue that TV viewing is a more integral part of society now than it was back then, but the logic still stands.
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Old 01-11-2009, 11:41 PM
f_m
 
2,289 posts, read 7,588,571 times
Reputation: 874
Quote:
Originally Posted by juggler View Post
Not to belabor the point, but I don't think this is a valid reason. When the emergency broadcast system was introduced in 1963, did the federal government give out coupons to enable people who didn't own TVs to buy one? Nope.

You can argue that TV viewing is a more integral part of society now than it was back then, but the logic still stands.
To me it doesn't matter why. I prefer the higher res digital TV.

If the government didn't provide some way to provide a usable TV signal, then people may get angry with the government for taking away their TV broadcasts. I wouldn't be surprised if people sued about it.

The difference between then and now is that it would make existing products people currently own useless. It would be like the government outlawing gasoline stations and expecting you to get your car to use something else (and you had to pay to make the updates to your car). Or changing all the cell phone frequencies to other frequencies that you have to pay to get your phone modified to work on the new frequencies. If people own something they expect it to work.
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Old 01-12-2009, 10:50 AM
 
Location: Beaverland, OR
588 posts, read 2,585,886 times
Reputation: 465
Quote:
Originally Posted by f_m View Post
Or changing all the cell phone frequencies to other frequencies that you have to pay to get your phone modified to work on the new frequencies. If people own something they expect it to work.
Good example. Remember a few years back when the cell phone companies offering analog (AMPS) service dropped it and switched exclusively to digital service? What happened to the poor folks who still used analog cell phones? Yup, they had to buy new ones. The difference now is that the cell phone change was not mandated (but simply allowed) by the government. The TV switch is mandated by the Feds, and that gives people a big scapegoat to point the finger at and rant about.
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