The big hoopla on the switch to digital TV

Apparently, we here in the Pacific NW US are the highest users of broadcast TV at 40%.  I fall in that 40%.  If you aren’t in the US, you don’t care about any of this.  For those of you in the rest of the US, let me explain something, satellite coverage here is a joke compared to the rest of the country.  And you can’t get our local ABC affiliate on one of the major local satellite companies.  Seriously.  Cable isn’t actually an option in many places.  I know there is no cable connection to my house.  I’m not sure we actually have it on my street (this is a fairly educated guess since the utilities are above ground, the easement runs through my back yard, the best access to the poles for 5 houses is in my back yard, and the utility people always like me to get my dogs out of the yard before they go to work.)

As far as digital conversion.  I have a damn converter box.  And an antenna booster.  And a rooftop antenna (albeit an older, not optimized for digital, model.)  The only one that is hooked up right now is the rooftop antenna.  Why?  I get a significantly better analog signal.  Significantly enough to not care about the extra channels that are being broadcast (then again I can point out more compelling podcasts and vodcast available 24/7).   Significantly enough that some of the “regular” channels are hard to watch in digital.  Will it get better when I get a modern rooftop antenna?  Possibly, but since the broadcast towers are 90 degrees apart and you are supposed to aim the antenna at the towers (note 1 antenna to multiple towers), I’m not particularly hopeful.  And I only get up on my roof for trivial reasons (like TV reception), during the dry season, so I guess we’ll find out in June or July some time (I guess I could have done it last year but I was on medication that recommended against such ventures.)  Once I’m forced to switch, I’ll watch the one or two channels that come in some of the time on, relive my childhood on hulu.com, and watch some of the many independent video efforts that places like YouTube have made so accessible.   Until then, could you please let me enjoy my TV in peace?    Really, I think we’ve all figured out that the DTV switchover is coming.   We don’t need switchover practice hours or days (or is it just a coincidence that KOIN has been hinting that they will be doing something to help us practice and today we have no analog signal? )  We don’t need a huge bar on the bottom part of the screen about the switch over ALL THE TIME.  In fact, if the technology really were so much better, we wouldn’t need a government mandated switch over.

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