President-elect Barack Obama is urging Congress to postpone the Feb. 17 switch from analog to digital television broadcasting, arguing that too many Americans who rely on analog TV sets to pick up over-the-air channels won't be ready.
In a letter to key lawmakers Thursday, Obama transition team co-chair John Podesta said the digital transition needs to be delayed largely because the Commerce Department has run out of money for coupons to subsidize digital TV converter boxes for consumers. People who don't have cable or satellite service or a new TV with a digital tuner will need the converter boxes to keep their older analog sets working.
Obama officials are also concerned that the government is not doing enough to help Americans -- particularly those in rural, poor or minority communities -- prepare for and navigate the transition.
I honestly haven't been paying much attention to the shift from analogue to digital broadcast signals. Frankly, any television shows I watch are either viewed by me online or on DVD months after their initial broadcast. The home TV isn't even hooked up to basic cable or a pair of "rabbit ears" - the only thing connected to the coaxial cable running into the back of the set is the DVD player.
So, I can't really say if I agree with a delay or not. Part of me is thinking that we've waited this long, so what's a few more months? Another part of me says switch it over now and leave people with static on their old sets - they probably watch too much TV anyway.
Can you hear me now? From the Chicago Sun-Times:
Today marks the 25th anniversary of the first commercial wireless call. It happened Oct. 13, 1983, at Soldier Field, where Ameritech Mobile, now part of Verizon Wireless, made the call from a Motorola DynaTAC 8000X known as the "brick" phone. The phone cost $3,995, was 13 inches long, and weighed 1.75 pounds.
And now we can't get people to hang up the damn things in public places or while they are driving.