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Today's Question: The conversion to digital TV

Thursday, June 11, 2009 | 2:45 p.m. CDT; updated 4:58 p.m. CDT, Thursday, June 11, 2009

It seems like the powers that be have been talking about the switch from analog television broadcasting to digital broadcasting forever. The federal government announced the plans to switch in 2007. But after concerns that not enough of the population was ready for the switch, the feds pushed back the final deadline from February to June. Now the time has finally come, and those who still use just TV antennas won’t even be able to sell the soon-to-be useless metal sticks at garage sales.

Despite all the hype, though, some people still aren’t ready for the conversion. The Los Angeles Times reported Thursday that 2.8 million homes still haven’t prepared to pick up the impending digital signal. The ratings company Nielsen compiled a list of the 10 least prepared cities for the conversion, and interestingly, all of the cities are in the southwest or the west coast except for one.

The ranks of the unprepared skew younger, Hispanic and black. Nielson vice-president Steve McGowan said he thought it was related to income.

While a digital TV is a bit pricey, a converter box is in the $40-$70 range, and the government is even offering coupons to help people afford them.

For some, it might seem like the issue has been pounded into their brains and they want nothing more than for it to be done with. But even the most intense marketing campaign will miss some people.

Should the government have taken a more active role in making sure each and every American household knew of the impending switch?


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Comments

John Schultz June 11, 2009 | 6:54 p.m.

Maybe the government shouldn't have taken ANY role in the transition?

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