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Old January 8th, 2009, 06:17 PM
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Default DTV Switchover Fiasco

I am amazed at what a fiasco the DTV switchover from analog to digital TV has become.

People can't figure out something as simple as: If you have a TV that uses an antenna or "rabbit ears" to receive your TV signal then you need a converter box. If your TV uses cable TV or satellite (You PAY for TV) then you don't.

The government is out of their coupons for decoder boxes. One reason is that MANY people who do not need the boxes got the coupons and either have not used them or bought a box they don't need.

My in-laws and some of their friends are part of the above group. They all have cable/satellite but they can't get it through their heads that they don't need a box. A couple of their friends got the coupons "in case" they need it and my in-laws bought a box and now have no idea how to hook it up. No big deal because they have satellite but I got a call today wondering how to do it, even though I've told them multiple times they don't need it. I told them to give the box to someone who REALLY needs it. I doubt they will

I'm just frustrated that something so simple can be so messed up, not by the government but by people who don't pay any attention or are just plain greedy.

BTW: The switchover is needed. We ARE running out of bandwidth regardless of what some radio talking heads are saying.

OK, I'm off my soapbox.

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Mike
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Old January 8th, 2009, 07:33 PM
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Mike, a couple of thoughts:

Why can't this particular government agency just print more coupons? Or make them available online so that taxpayers can print the coupons themselves?

The DTV system is a vast improvement over analog. Why not spend a couple of bucks to upgrade to a digital, wide-screen TV, and enjoy the benefits? The over-the-air broadcast is actually a better picture than the compressed signals of the cable companies, so your "rabbit ears" antenna will work just as it always has.

Not only does a new digital TV receive the new digital TV programming, but movies on DVD look much better. And now with Blu-Ray, the picture is truly remarkable.

Why do people resist modern technological improvements, when there's so much to be gained, for relatively little cost?

Off MY soap box now!
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Old January 8th, 2009, 07:42 PM
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Yes we have cable and yes we got a coupon. Why? Well we live in hurricane country and if one hits we can hook up a battery tv and get news when there is no power or cable. Also we do camp and do like to have the tv for the evenings so will need it for that.
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Old January 8th, 2009, 08:29 PM
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On tonights news they stated that, Obama has asked for a delay of about 3-4 months for all the latecomers, [the elderly and lower economic applicants who didn't get the coupons]to get onboard.
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Old January 8th, 2009, 08:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mean Dean
Mike, a couple of thoughts:

Why can't this particular government agency just print more coupons? Or make them available online so that taxpayers can print the coupons themselves?
Dean,

The coupons are worth $40 and they have exceeded their budget. If they print more then their budget increases and the taxpayers pay more.

A DTV converter box is about $60 so people, with a coupon, need to pay around $20. What frosts my cookies is that people who do not need the box have received the coupon(s) and now people who REALLY need them may go without or pay the full price. I doubt they will go without. They'll just throw more money at the program.

Take care,
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Old January 8th, 2009, 09:13 PM
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Transistion Team wants a delay on the DTV switchover.

http://www.usatoday.com/money/media/...ansition_N.htm

I guess what I don't understand is that preparation for this 17 February 2009 switchover has been ongoing over the past 4 years.

Four years........

If people are not ready then they simply have procastinated too long, and will be left behind. It's just that simple.
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Old January 8th, 2009, 09:29 PM
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If these folks are having such difficulty with the concept, I seriously doubt putting the coupon online would be of any help....
...computers are even SCARIER than a VCR flashing 12:00
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Old January 8th, 2009, 10:56 PM
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It is incredible the ideas that people get...
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Old January 8th, 2009, 11:13 PM
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Dean,

Thanks for the link. I did not know that the coupons had an expiration date on them. My rant stemmed from this morning's conversation with my MIL.

I'm glad those that got the coupons, in case they need them, won't be able to use them after they expire.

Take care,
Mike
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Old January 12th, 2009, 08:29 AM
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Unfortunately, the government once again underestimated the intelligence of the American public, which can be fatal. The only blame I place is between the ears of those who do not comprehend the simple message that has been part of all the advertising and announcements to date.
As far as I am concerned they can stare at blank screens when transition day comes. :evil:
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Old January 13th, 2009, 02:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DougR.
Unfortunately, the government once again underestimated the intelligence of the American public, which can be fatal.
Doug, you meant "over-estimated", right..........!
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Old January 13th, 2009, 07:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mean Dean
Quote:
Originally Posted by DougR.
Unfortunately, the government once again underestimated the intelligence of the American public, which can be fatal.
Doug, you meant "over-estimated", right..........!
Just overestimated my command of the Kings English.
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Old January 13th, 2009, 11:11 AM
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My mom like your mother in law got a coupon she didn't need. She confused HD Channels with digital. She thought because all her TVs didn't have HD that she would lose TV service.

I think using the terms "analog" and "digital" confused some people. If the government had simply said "get this coupon if your TV uses an antenna" there would have been a lot less confusion. I know the terms "analog" and "digital" make sense to people in the field, but to the normal person they don't and no one wants to lose their TV.
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Old January 13th, 2009, 11:18 AM
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When ever you give someone to much time they forget about it and then want the coupon at the last mintue. The goverment should have given them a month, then did it. People would have know the time was short and acted quickly.
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Old January 13th, 2009, 11:30 AM
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I actually cut these folks some slack especially elderly people. I agree there are some people out there who are just lazy/dumb and want/need to be spoon fed. But alot of older people just arent' real savvy when it comes to things like this. My Grandma is going on 101 and is a very bright lady whos mind is still completely sharp . She has cable and doesn't have to deal with the conversion but if she didn't, do you really think her or even most in there 70's or 80's are really going to understand the concept of the converter box, why they have to have it etc?
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Old January 13th, 2009, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katlady
My mom like your mother in law got a coupon she didn't need. She confused HD Channels with digital. She thought because all her TVs didn't have HD that she would lose TV service.

I think using the terms "analog" and "digital" confused some people. If the government had simply said "get this coupon if your TV uses an antenna" there would have been a lot less confusion. I know the terms "analog" and "digital" make sense to people in the field, but to the normal person they don't and no one wants to lose their TV.
Kat, I really agree with you on this. I cannot tell you how many people are asking me the same thing. Do we need a new TV? Do we need a coupon? How do we get one? And we live in Canada..........where we are not digital yet nor are there plans to do so before 2011 at the earliest. They should have done it in a much simplier way. I mean, even my self, I had to go on line for answers, as I thought, will I get my American channels still? I called the cable company and even they didnt know the answer.........so for sure my Mother sitting on a farm that only knows how to check email ( and even thats a stretch at times should there be any "error") isn't going to understand either.
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Old January 13th, 2009, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ready2board
I actually cut these folks some slack especially elderly people. I agree there are some people out there who are just lazy/dumb and want/need to be spoon fed. But alot of older people just arent' real savvy when it comes to things like this. My Grandma is going on 101 and is a very bright lady whos mind is still completely sharp . She has cable and doesn't have to deal with the conversion but if she didn't, do you really think her or even most in there 70's or 80's are really going to understand the concept of the converter box, why they have to have it etc?
Gee, my 93 yo mother "got it" that she didn't need one as she has cable.
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Old January 13th, 2009, 12:12 PM
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Well, my mother lives in the country.........and cable TV is but a dream!
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Old January 13th, 2009, 01:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DougR.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ready2board
I actually cut these folks some slack especially elderly people. I agree there are some people out there who are just lazy/dumb and want/need to be spoon fed. But alot of older people just arent' real savvy when it comes to things like this. My Grandma is going on 101 and is a very bright lady whos mind is still completely sharp . She has cable and doesn't have to deal with the conversion but if she didn't, do you really think her or even most in there 70's or 80's are really going to understand the concept of the converter box, why they have to have it etc?
Gee, my 93 yo mother "got it" that she didn't need one as she has cable.
Well, that warms my heart and I couldn't be more excited for her. Maybe you didn't notice that I used the term MOST.
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Old January 13th, 2009, 02:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katlady
My mom like your mother in law got a coupon she didn't need. She confused HD Channels with digital. She thought because all her TVs didn't have HD that she would lose TV service.

I think using the terms "analog" and "digital" confused some people. If the government had simply said "get this coupon if your TV uses an antenna" there would have been a lot less confusion. I know the terms "analog" and "digital" make sense to people in the field, but to the normal person they don't and no one wants to lose their TV.
Kat,

Most of the TV spots I have seen say "If you have an antenna or rabbit ears you will need a converter box.".

Heck, they are even putting five minute information messages on shows like Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy to inform viewers. Only viewers who currently view in analog see them.

Local TV stations are running Q&A spots about the conversion and making it as simple as possible and there are nightly scrawls on the Network News about the conversion.

I don't know what more they can do.

Take care,
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Old January 13th, 2009, 02:53 PM
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Mike, you are right that NOW they are doing alot to get the right info out, but I dont agree the info was right or clear prior to this. I know alot of eople who were left scratching their heads....did they need a new TV, do they have an analog TV or a digital tv? My own cabel company rep seemed confused. Now no question the info is out there and it makes sense, I dont agree that this was so 6-8 weeks ago, or at least not where I live. I certainly figured it out by going to a web site, others may have had a harder time.
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Old January 13th, 2009, 03:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Delft
Mike, you are right that NOW they are doing alot to get the right info out, but I dont agree the info was right or clear prior to this. I know alot of eople who were left scratching their heads....did they need a new TV, do they have an analog TV or a digital tv? My own cabel company rep seemed confused. Now no question the info is out there and it makes sense, I dont agree that this was so 6-8 weeks ago, or at least not where I live. I certainly figured it out by going to a web site, others may have had a harder time.
I guess things are different here. Information was scrawled out every night on the news, both local and national, and the local news people have been doing "information" commercials since last summer. They also repeat the crawl on shows that appeal to older viewers, such as Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy. I like Jeopardy so I've seen them.

When I was in the Bay Area in June and September the stations there also had information message about the switch to DTV.

"Cable" TV staions have not done any informative messages but they are on cable and if you can see them you don't need the converter.

On this subject I can't say that people weren't properly warned. Most folks chose not to pay attention.

Take care,
Mike
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Old January 13th, 2009, 04:17 PM
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Well, I know I paid attention, and I know what we had on our TV's, and I know so many well educated people who were questoning things, including much mis information that worked it's way out there, to understand many people simply did not understand over here. I stress over here, there was better and clearer information over the last few weeks, I cannot say the same prior to this. I cannot tell you how many people here were wondering if we had to do anything. If that many people question it, then it means that the origional communication style WE EXPIERIENCED was not adequate. As I said, I called my own cable company after I was told I had an analog TV and needed a converter, my own LARGE cable company was confused them selves............so if you call your cable provider and their confused..........you can imagine how helpful that is..................

Its kind of like a patient I had many years ago. She was given a lung inhaler. Her symptoms simply did not imporove. Come to find out that she squirted the puffer near her mouth, and took a deep breath , but she never actually put it in her mouth...........and that early on taught me never to make assumptions people understand.............there was also the women who had a yeast infection, she was given tablets..........she went back to the doctor because again they were not helping.........only to find out she wasnt supposed to swallow those awfully large terrible tasting tablets................

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Old January 13th, 2009, 04:38 PM
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Mike I think you answered your own question. The majority of the information was only on analog TV because they needed the converter box. So the cable people didn't hear it. The cable people knew it was coming, but noone explained to them they didn't need it. In fact if the government did a couple of commerical on cable that said if you can see this you don't need a converter box. That would have helped a lot.
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Old January 13th, 2009, 09:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katlady
Mike I think you answered your own question. The majority of the information was only on analog TV because they needed the converter box. So the cable people didn't hear it. The cable people knew it was coming, but noone explained to them they didn't need it. In fact if the government did a couple of commerical on cable that said if you can see this you don't need a converter box. That would have helped a lot.
All major network stations had the information on both cable and broadcast TV. If you only watched The Food Network or The Lifetime Channel you wouldn't have seen the message.

Take care,
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Old January 14th, 2009, 07:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katlady
Mike I think you answered your own question. The majority of the information was only on analog TV because they needed the converter box. So the cable people didn't hear it. The cable people knew it was coming, but noone explained to them they didn't need it. In fact if the government did a couple of commerical on cable that said if you can see this you don't need a converter box. That would have helped a lot.
Comcast (AKA "The Evil Empire") has run numerous commercials on many cable channels that they carry that their subscibers do not have to do anything (except pay ever escalating cable bills).
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Old January 23rd, 2009, 11:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Delft
Well, my mother lives in the country.........and cable TV is but a dream!
I hear ya! I have satellite. Wish I could get cable, DSL, anything. Actually I guess I lucky to have water & electric but both go down a lot. Only got trash pick up a year ago.

I still got two coupons/cards though. Don't have satellite in the cabin and when it's cloudy or storming we'll need it to pick up (if lucky) broadcast stations.

Don't even think about cell phone service. That's not going to happen. You city folk.
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Old January 23rd, 2009, 11:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snoozeman
Quote:
Originally Posted by Delft
Well, my mother lives in the country.........and cable TV is but a dream!
I hear ya! I have satellite. Wish I could get cable, DSL, anything. Actually I guess I lucky to have water & electric but both go down a lot. Only got trash pick up a year ago.

I still got two coupons/cards though. Don't have satellite in the cabin and when it's cloudy or storming we'll need it to pick up (if lucky) broadcast stations.

Don't even think about cell phone service. That's not going to happen. You city folk.
She also has only dial up internet, and it is the slowest dial up I have ever sen. I was almost ready to shoot myself it was so bad. So I finally got a good touch phone and can read my email faster on that , than on her internet!
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Old January 23rd, 2009, 01:21 PM
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saw the title of this post and read it as: "DTW Switchover Fiasco" and I immediately thought what did Dave the Wave do now.
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