Today at noon, all major TV stations will switch to broadcasting their content in all digital format, and the majority of analog broadcasting will cease.
All but the highest-end TV's manufactured prior to 1998 lack the circuitry to receive DTV broadcasts on their own. However, anyone that subscribes to cable or satellite service is able to receive digital signals by default, because of the coverter boxes those services provide.
The transition has been in the works for over ten years. The relentless public awareness campaign began over two years ago, and was designed to ensure everyone that had an analog TV and over-the-air antenna was aware and informed of steps they need to take in order to continue watching TV. The full-on assault on public ignorance included commercials with dancing TV's, catchy songs, easy to remember steps, multiple websites, advertisements in every media imaginable, and even mobile "DTV Transition" trucks that set up in high traffic areas to get the word out.
The conversion date was set for February 17, 2009. But, the liberal Democrats, always the champions of the limp, lame, lazy and ignorant, threw a fit about people being unaware and unprepared (even after a two-year media blitz) and succeeded in passing legislation that pushed out the DTV transition four months, into June, where we are today.
Today's news headlines point out today is the day and, tipping their hats to the liberal Democrat nanny-state coddlers, most of the press calls out that "millions" will be left out and will be unable to watch TV. Despite the dancing TV's, full page ads, and unprecedented publicity about the change, news snippets shriek, "...likely stranding more than 1 million unprepared homes without TV service", "More than 2 million households are in danger of seeing their major broadcast TV channels disappear into a fuzz of static...", "About 2.2 million homes still not DTV ready", etc. etc. etc.
Evidently there was a survey taken by an "association of broadcasters", and that is where the numbers come from. Logic dictates that by simply answering a survey about a subject, you become aware of it if you weren't aware before.
The country is a big place. I'd venture to say that the number of households that are prepared for this switch are higher than 98%. Yet the media is trumpeting the plight of those poor, disadvantaged 2%, who are unprepared. At this point, there really is no excuse. Either those 2% are living under a rock, willfully ignorant, or just don't care.
Why is it that the media wants us all to feel outrage towards the transition? Why do they want us to feel sorry for those that will be "left in the dark"? At what point is it OK for us to be proud of our advancement into the digital TV age, and proud of our preparedness to do so, without the transference of guilt and shame by the media for leaving the small percentage of non-participants behind?
This is still America, and much to the chagrin of the nanny-state liberals, there are still expectations that people take personal responsibility for themselves and their standards of living despite the socialist & Marxist agenda of the current administration. The day that the government relieves the people of their personal responsibility for themselves is the day I move to another country.
So I say to all those that are being "left behind", willfully or not: get out from under your rock and participate in America, before someone does it for you.