Digital Transition: What would you have done differently if you were in charge?

#1
What would you change about the digital transition, or how would you have done it differently than the U.S. Government?

I think for starters, I would have made the $40 DTV Coupons good for at least 180 days from activation. It's taken an act of Congress (literally!) to finally allow people with expired coupons to reapply, but it's definitely one of the hiccups that I think the digital transition could have done without.
 

Todd2

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#2
Tell you one thing for sure, I wouldn't have allowed the pork spending by sponsoring the Nascar for part of the season to advertise "Are you ready for DTV". Absolutely ridiculous.
 

Aaron62

Contributor
Staff member
#3
Needless
Advertising
Same'ol
Cars
Annoying
Rednecks
Don't be messing with my Nascar dude, or with a name like that, should I say...troll.

Anyway, about the digital transition, I don't like the ambiguous mandate that the cable and satellite companies received in regards to their own Digital Transition.

The Digital TV Transition: FAQs - Consumer Corner - Cable and Satellite

Is the FCC making cable companies switch to digital service?

No. Cable companies are not required to switch to digital service. Cable companies may choose to make their service all or partly digital, but they are not required to change from the analog service they offer today. In fact, the FCC requires cable companies to continue to provide local stations in analog as long as they provide any analog service, even after June 12, 2009.
Sounds good here but wait, there's more...

Can my cable company make me get a box to receive the cable channels I receive today without a box?

Some cable companies have decided to switch to digital service. This is a business decision made by the cable companies and is not required by the federal government. Your cable company may decide to move certain cable channels off of its analog service tier and onto a digital service tier, or it may decide to switch to all-digital service at once, so that there is no analog service tier for any subscribers. If your cable company decides to move some or all of the channels it provides onto a digital service tier, it may notify you that you need to get "digital cable" equipment to continue receiving that cable service. This may include renting or purchasing a digital cable set-top box or purchasing a digital cable ready TV equipped with a "CableCARD" slot. The digital cable equipment is different from the digital-to-analog converter boxes that are used to receive over-the-air broadcast signals.[/quote]

Bah! My parents have to pay an extra $5.95/month because like 25% of the basic cable channels they were receiving are now being moved to a "digital tier".
 
#5
I'd make sure the coupon program was fixed, didn't deny those living in trailer courts or nursing homes (which to me was the very people the program was designed for was it not?) and allow Full-time RVers to have them, too.

NO EXPIRATION DATES!!! plus i'd have started the program not the last few months before the transition date, but also a few years back, that way any 'bugs' would be fixed along the way.

And made it a choice, not a requirement, to continue to view OTA TV. there's just some who really are better off with analog, i mean, one digital channel is not enough and no one should be ironically forced to watch satellite just becaus they choose to live in nature or in the mountains. no one should pay a price to watch TV just for choosing a relaxing location to live.

The normal progress of technology would eventually make DTV the primary choice, if not the only one, eventually all on it's own. we have a war in Iraq to fight, why is the Government really caring about something that's not their business in the first place? no doubt the war in Iraq has some bearing on the 'selling off of bands' no doubt to the military who needs the extra bandwidth.
 

bicker

DTVUSA Member
#6
Unfortunately, that would have violated the laws of nature. There simply is not enough bandwidth to provide both digital and analog, and emergency services, much less also new commercial services.
 
#7
I don't recall there being a problem with wireless broadband or cellular during the simulcast analog/digital signals, and i haven't heard any complaints from fire depts or emergency (i asked our own fire dept and they seem ok) services. the real constraint is it costs tons more to maintain both instead of switching to one.

Which is why i wonder, why does the Government need to intervene? i mean broadcasters would eventually stop allowing broadcasting analog from the cost and maintenance on their own, it's called Progress. eventually digital would be the only available medium.

I'll add one more improvement. the Coupon Program needs manned tech support, not some automated bots.
 

bicker

DTVUSA Member
#8
I don't recall there being a problem with wireless broadband or cellular during the simulcast analog/digital signals,
That's non-sequitur. The government has structured the transition so that these new digital television broadcasts do not interfere with existing broadcasts, and that is why many people will be unable to tune in some digital television broadcasts until after the analog signals are discontinued, and the digital signals can then be raised to full power.

and i haven't heard any complaints from fire depts or emergency (i asked our own fire dept and they seem ok) services.
You must have missed September 11.

the real constraint is it costs tons more to maintain both instead of switching to one.
No, the constraint of there being limited bandwidth is very real.

Which is why i wonder, why does the Government need to intervene?
The government allocates all shared national resources like bandwidth.
 

TonyT

DTVUSA Member
#10
It's all about control of the media.
hmm, or maybe the FCC sections off frequencies into usable parts by different industries, government agencies, and organizing everything so that the overall spectrum isn't a mess. Sometimes you just gotta lighten up Dan, you should try living in a communist republic sometime.
 
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