Curiously, one of the first jobs of the Obama Administration is to delay — from February to June — the switchover from analog TV to the beautiful HDTV broadcast format. 6.8% of Americans have allegedly not yet upgraded their televisions because the $40.00USD coupon program offered by the FCC ran out of money.
Delaying the inevitable is always a bad idea. If the remaining 6.8% were not swift enough to get in line early enough for a free box converter — this HDTV transition has been in the works since the 1990s — then that’s the price they pay for not paying attention to the deadline.
We all know we’ll still have the same 6.8% in June — the lazy in human nature abides no deadline until it passes — and what then, do we delay the HDTV deadline another few months?
The only way to get everyone on board with a dramatic new program of opportunity is to press them into action and then leaving them behind if they refuse to catch up.
$40 is not a lot of money and, please remember, television — ANY TELEVISION — is a delight but not a right. Any emergency information can be delivered via radio and most stations planning to switch to HDTV are also going to keep their analog broadcast alive for a bit to help ease the transition between formats.
Delaying the move to HDTV is precisely what we don’t want in our federal government: Intervention into a problem that doesn’t need solving.
Pretty sad that people can be so slothful about something that is, to them, free.
That is the core of it, Gordon. They’re getting it for free; they waited too long; now they have to pay; they don’t way to pay; the rest of us suffer another few months for them to get left out a second time.