22 December 2008

DTV Transition Will Be Bad

More planning was required for the digital television transition scheduled for February 17, 2009, so the FCC canceled their planned discussions of the wireless Broadband revolution. (By the way, don't forget to send for your digital to analog conversion box coupons here - it took me less than a minute.)

The problem with the proposed transition is the horrible job they have done in education about the changes, and the converter box program. They should be automatically sending the converter boxes to every household in the United States. These things probably cost a dollar to make (even though they are selling for $50!). From what I've seen, many of these boxes are very poor quality - like any cheap product made overseas.

With the fast-approaching Presidential transition, there couldn't be a worse time to be turning everyone's TVs off. Obama has quite a set of tasks in front of him to start the much needed economic revolution, and television is still the best way to get the word out. While he did a good job in the campaign reaching out to the younger generation via texting, the older generations will largely be left in the dark for at least a few days after the transition.

The good and bad about the DTV transition is that the US Government will send out 2 coupons to each household good for $40 towards the necessary converter box. I know I'm not alone in saying that that won't even cover half the TVs in my house (we have 5). Others I've talked to about this have as many as 10 TVs in their houses. So again, another reason the DTV transition will be bad - in this slow economic time, let's spend $50 per US TV on overseas-made converter boxes. Good plan.

Has anyone heard of an American made DTV convertor box? I'm still researching...

Happy Hanukkah (Chanukah) Everyone!

Here's your yearly dose of Adam Sandler's classic, the Hanukkah Song. Hanukkah started today, or yesterday at sundown, I'm not sure.

13 December 2008

Tell Cable to Shove it!

I have finally officially said "screw you" to Charter cable in Kalamazoo. I have wanted to do this for a while, I just couldn't bring myself to give up my college football games, and DVR. After a year of debating, I finally canceled my service, and ordered a 768K DSL line from AT&T for $20/month without a home phone. I am very happy with the cost - VERY happy. I was paying nearly $100 for Charter's internet (5MB) and basic digital service (under 100 crappy reception channels) with one DVR - and that was a promo price! The DSL line is definitely slower than the cable, but I barely notice it when I am trying to stream off sites like hulu.com. Every once in a while, I have to pause for a few seconds and resume the program. But for savings of $80/month - I'll deal with that! I can watch most of what I watched before on cable via the internet or over the air on the TV. With AT&T, you can even stream many of the ESPN sports events to your computer. iTunes also has a lot of free programming.

I can even watch it all on the TV! Both of our laptops have S-Video outs and I run stereo sound to the TV via the headphone or SPDIF jack and an RCA Y-connector.

More people need to start doing this and tell big cable to shove it. We all could use a little more money in our pockets (and a little more time for reading).

So here it is: Screw you Charter! Get with the times, lower your prices, and start offering better quality digital and high-def feeds or you will lose many more customers. AT&T's U-verse is going to be your demise. Good-bye!

09 December 2008

Sorry for the disappointment...

This blog is not about that Jesse Palmer, it's about this one. I'm sorry if I've disappointed you, but that's life.

Have a great day.