Friday, June 12, 2009

Who wants digital TV? (I do! I do!)

Too many people weren’t ready for the switch from analog to digital TV on February 17th, so Congress pushed the drop dead date out to today, June 12, 2009. I’ve read that, even after the reprieve, people living in 2 to 12 million households are still about to watch snow instead of their favorite mind numbing reality show. The fact that the estimates range from 2 to 12 million tells you that nobody has any clue how big a problem it is.

How could anyone still be unaware of the change to digital television? After all, the government is spending about $1.5 billion to advertise the switch, print coupons for conversion gadgets, and staff-up to answer 2 to 12 million phone calls this weekend. You can hardly watch TV for an hour without seeing a public service announcement about the coming of DTV. Click here to watch my favorite outreach video.

My guess is that the unprepared folks are the same ones who get surprised by everything else—snow storms, solar eclipses, garbage collection day—so they’ll be surprised by this, too. (No surprise.) And they’ll complain that nobody told them that this was happening, which is the reason the FCC hired thousands of DTV transition assistants via a number of private companies throughout the country.

One of these companies is TeleTech Government Solutions based in Englewood, Colorado. TeleTech hired 4,000 “temporary associates” (jargon meaning employees without benefits—or “ewbies”) to assist people in nine states deal with their procrastination disorder. The fact that three of these states are Alabama, Kentucky and West Virginia makes me think that they’ve got their plates full. But not to worry... TeleTech is the same company that hired thousands of people to assist Katrina victims in the aftermath of that disaster, and we all know how well that went.

That brings me to this thought: Why exactly is the FCC spending my hard earned money to hand hold these irresponsible couch potatoes? Is this digital conversion really on the same level as Hurricane Katrina? Why can’t they just figure it out for themselves?

I did.

Copyright 2009 Randy Hunt


  1. switching over to digital TV is like pulling off a band-aid... just do it and get it over with

  2. But isn't this what big government is all about? Protecting us from ourseleves, i.e., the inability for us to think for ourselves? Frank


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