Saturday, July 28, 2007

But we like our TVs the way they are

Damned government interference.

The TVs in our house are generally bulky, boxy and ancient, and that's just fine. We got our Netflix, we got public television, and we got Andy Griffith reruns (the black-and-white ones being a far superior rendition of an America that never existed than the later, color ones).

Now the government is telling us that pretty soon our happy TV habits won't be good enough. We have to upgrade or shell out money for converter boxes. Oh, goodie -- more wires!

The government that is scared to take on the health care issue bravely steps forward to dictate what kind of TVs we must have!

From the Los Angeles Times:

Millions of TV sets that rely on antennas may go dark in a little more than 18 months, and the government needs to do much more to help people who own them see the light, senators said Thursday.

"I think there's high potential for a train wreck here," Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) told Federal Communications Commission and Commerce Department officials during a hearing on the transition to digital-only signals.

Lawmakers and advocacy groups have become increasingly concerned that the government isn't doing enough to educate the approximately 20% of U.S. households — 1 million in Los Angeles alone — that receive only over-the-air TV.

Under federal law, stations must turn off their analog signals Feb. 18, 2009.

...The government is relying on the television industry and consumer electronics makers to do the bulk of the public education, and so far "their efforts have yielded few results," said Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Daniel K. Inouye (D-Hawaii).

...Inouye promised Thursday to take action on the public education effort after listening to complaints from the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, the National Hispanic Media Coalition and AARP, the organization for seniors. The groups are concerned that many poor and isolated people will be left without TV signals.

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