Digital TV and Smoke Detectors

By Mike Maddaloni on Wednesday, February 11, 2009 at 08:26 AM with 6 comments

photo of digital TV test on CBS2 ChicagoThe date for conversion of broadcast television in the US from analog to digital has changed to June 12, 2009. Originally it was set to next Tuesday, February 17, but at the last minute a bill moved through Congress to delay it. In short, if you don’t have the right equipment, you won’t be able to watch TV. As you can see from the accompanying photo of my TV from a recent test done by CBS2 in Chicago, I have the right stuff.

The idea behind delaying it was to give more time to people to get the right equipment. I won’t get into what “right equipment” is but you can check out for more information. After watching endless promotions of the digital switch for almost forever, I say bring it on, right now, even sooner if possible! Why? Because no matter how long you wait, people still won’t catch on. If you don’t believe me, look at smoke detectors.

For as long as smoke detectors have been in existence, the daily news is riddled with stories of deaths in homes that were on fire and did not have smoke detectors at all, or non-functioning ones. Why? I have no idea. Other than the pure negligence, what causes someone to not spend US$10 on a device that saves lives? I have never heard of anyone denying the merits of smoke detectors, yet people still don’t have them.

After fires ravage a home and people in Chicago, firefighters canvas the neighborhood handing out free smoke detectors. Maybe TV station employees should do the same, checking if people have the right equipment and if not handing out converter boxes. Either that or run digital tests during American Idol or Survivor and not during the morning news, as its obvious with the extension the media has failed to get the message across to everyone.

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