You probably already know, but, according to this article, Congress is concerned that too few American realize their older, analog TVs (i.e.- non-HD) will become giant paperweights on February 18, 2009. That’s the date Congress has mandated that all over the air broadcast TV must be in digital High-Def, and all current analog signals must stop. That’s in a little under two years from now, and many people don’t know it’s going to happen.

What I find crazy is the bureaucrats mandated this change and are now complaining that the networks aren’t doing enough to educate the viewing public about the change. Also, what about all the people who can’t afford to buy a new TV, let alone a cable connection or HD antenna? Those people are SOL and yet the government is trying to blame the networks.

You may be wondering why there is a mandate at all. You’d think the market would eventually sort through the process and HD would win in the end. Of course, the answer comes down to money. By shutting off access to the analog TV portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, the government can then auction parts of the spectrum off. This means big money for them, and big headaches for the rest of us.

I find this whole thing stupid in the extreme, and the whining from the congress critters about the networks really, really irritates me. They helped create this mess and now won’t take part of the blame. Typical really. I try not to get political on this blog, as that’s just asking for trouble. But this makes me wish the government was way smaller than it actually is and less influence on public life.

Anyway, consider this a heads up for anyone who didn’t know about the switchover. You’ll need to upgrade your TV to an HD set soon and you’ll either have to buy an HD antenna or get an HD capable cable box. The only good news is that any network science fiction shows will be shown in HD. Which, as an avid LOST viewer, looks really sweet.

And if you have an HD set and get Universal HD, they are running Firefly on Saturday nights. In HD. Sweet.

Filed under: TV

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