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.