The Ghost of Snapped Shot

Or, welcome to my low-maintenance heck.

Would You Like A Piece Of The Pie?

When one government entity gets its fingers in the pie and comes back cherry, there are others waiting in the wings for their share.

Not to be left out in the cold, the Digital TV Transition Coupon Department, or better known in political circles as the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), wants their millions too.

Karl Bode from has the find:

Back in 2007, the government announced it would be giving each household in the United States two coupons to help pay for digital adapters, made necessary by the February 17, 2009 transition from analog to digital television. According to the Associated Press, there's still millions of households unprepared for the shift, yet the program funding these subsidies is almost out of cash. The NTIA had a $1.34 billion funding ceiling for the program, and is now saying that unless they get more cash, they'll have to start putting consumers on a waiting list.

In my opinion, this whole DTV thing is stupid, bone-headed, wrong, evil...etc. Think about this. To get the reception you either have to upgrade your roof antenna and purchase a converter that runs on electricity. Or, you buy a newer television with a digital tuner built in along with an antenna. Yes, I know people who use satellite or cablevision don't have to worry about the conversion. I am not worried about those people right now.

Think of this scenario. A user has an older set. They get their feed from satellite. They think that they are set. As a satellite user, I know that satellite feeds have their issues during stormy or wintry weather. During particularly bad weather, satellite feed gets disrupted by the intense rainfall. No TV at that point. So, break out the antenna. Oops. Now there is still no TV because all stations have switched to digital broadcasts.

OK. No problem right? You run out in the rain and borrow one of your neighbor's extra DTV converters. Ooops. Now that the storm is heading your way (you would know this and had stayed inside crouched in the closet if you had cablevision or an antenna and converter already) the power goes out.

Now, what are you going to do? How are you going to get your weather reports. No problem. Just break out your portable TV that runs on batteries. OOPS!! Portable TVs don't receive digital broadcasts and that expensive converter does not run on batteries. Besides, most portables don't accept external feeds.

So, when the president comes on national TV and tells you that this storm is actually caused by Klatu destroying the world for the planet's sake, you missed that call. You couldn't watch tv because the FEDS mandated everyone switch to Digital. Should have gotten ATT. Oh.. sorry, wrong commercial.

Anyway... has anyone else seen problems with their DTV feeds compared to over-the-air? For myself, the4 DTV feed our local PBS station stinks about as bad as watching scrambled cable channels.



#1 Kevin 04-Jan-2009
How about RADIO in times of crisis? As a family who's suffered through 2 hurricanes in the last 6 months, I can tell you that tv is worthless in a crisis. Give that gov't agency nothing. Shut them down.
#2 captainfish 04-Jan-2009
Radio? You mean that poppunkhiphop -rock station that people listen to nowadays? How often do they carry weather when they are not airing trash?

Besides, how many "young'ins" do you know could find their house on a TV weather map without being told surrounding cities? Can you imagine them trying to reason out locations based on audio alerts over the radio?

But note too, that radio is going "HD" as well that requires special equipment. Oh, I know there is nothing authoritative in moving towards digital in the radio business.... but who would have thought that TV's move would have been MANDATORY and all or nothing.

(but yeah, I know. I pushed the alternative a bit to hype my point. Isn't that what good members of the MSM do?)
#3 Donkeyrock 04-Jan-2009
Your phone snark was apt, as Verizon was the one who bought the spectrum on which TV now runs. This is expected to go to cell phone use, so you'll need your cell phone to watch tv weather when the power's out. But hey, at least you can get reception through concrete! :>
#4 captainfish 04-Jan-2009
except, some of us just want a basic cell phone that works. We don't care about all the extra fluff that costs another 100 bucks a month or more. Just give me a decent phone call, damnit, where I can understand the other person.
#5 Donkeyrock 05-Jan-2009
On a paranoid note, it's more practical to track a cell phone than a TV, and being able to get that signal through concrete makes things a whole lot easier. Why set up CCTV when your own cell phone can do the work?
#6 captainfish 05-Jan-2009
Now you just merged into my dark side.

I despise any form of gov't tracking. I tried to keep using my old g1 cellphone.

And I hate using those turnpike pass key things because they are also used to track movements. If they ever force vehicle tracking chips, I will either walk or rip out all that crap from my car.

Meanwhile, several big cities are going to use those turnpike pass key things to start charging a "fee" to just enter the city let alone just using the road to enter the city.

Is this a living tax? You want to live or work in the city, you got to pay an extra tax now. Some people have been deemed unworthy to be in the city, thus they have to pay a tax to move in and out of it.

This will either force people to stay out of the city or stay IN the city thus increasing congestion. THeir idea is to move people to mass transit. Yeah, cause mass transit in NY and SF are a perfect safe alternative with plenty of room for expansion.
#7 Donkeyrock 05-Jan-2009
Don'tcha just love it when we get taxed more instead of programs getting cut? I'd like to see a maximum tax, like 10% is the maximum you can be taxed for anything. That puts an income cap on the congresscritters and would force them to cut programs instead of raise taxes for their pet projects.

Tracking... I don't see us getting away from it, though I'd like to. Too many people believe the "for your own good" reason.
#8 captainfish 05-Jan-2009
"for your own good"


URGH.. burns my arse.

and yep. I am in full favor of flat tax. Wanna make it flat max tax? I'll go for that.

Hey, whatever happened to that silly idea of "balanced-budgets"?

Heard today, that if we took all of that stimulus and bail out monies and gave it back to the people in a tax holiday, we would not have to pay taxes for nearly a year.

But, now, what do you think the taxes will be now they are stealing more of our tax money.
#9 Donkeyrock 05-Jan-2009
I'd like to live tax free for a year!

Hell, they probably could've done better with a lottery of that $700 billion.

Taxes are just going to go up, and at the worst economic time, simply because politicians can't take away the bread and circus programs that got them elected. They'll cut fire and police before they cut unnecessary funding of pet projects.

I think part of the problem -- besides taking away the feel-good of a tulip planting program in the highway median -- might be pinpointing those unnecessary programs since there are so many and they get mashed together in bills.

Feh, it's all for my own good, right? lol
#10 captainfish 05-Jan-2009

He said it again!

Nee! Nee!

Here in my state, we are facing a 3.9 million deficit. But, we sure have some nice looking new bridges around. Some near the capital have nice reliefs of buffalos and geese. How pretty for the side of a bridge.

One of our turnpikes I noticed last holiday had built a new bridge for a single lane county road over the turnpike. Had a VERY NICE state emblem embossed on both sides of the bridge supports.

Am sure that money was very well spent.
#11 Donkeyrock 06-Jan-2009
A million here for a nice emblem, a million there for some geese, it's not real money, it's tax money, there's always more! Wheeeeee!

Not that I don't appreciate a well-artificed structure, I'm more against the social programs because they're never for me, they're for the poor "other" people. That's taking my money by force and giving it to someone else, and I'm not cool with that.
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