Sunday, June 14, 2009

"If you are dense, please call the number on the bottom of the screen that you can't see..."

The Federal Communication Commission, on its Web site, said Friday's switch to digital television by 971 full-power stations had prompted hundreds of thousands of calls for help...
According to the Nielsen Co., three million people somehow managed to ignore almost a year of public service announcements, scrolling banners, billboards, smoke signals, passenger pigeon flights, and direct broadcasts from orbital mind-control lasers, and wound up watching digital static on their TeeWees.

I would think that if, after all that hoopla, you still aren't able to watch your stories in the afternoon or Dancing With The Stars over dinner, maybe you should just give up on the whole TeeWee thing and go for a walk, or read a book or something.

22 comments:

Nathan Brindle said...

I'll bet most of the people who had trouble with the DTV switchover voted for Obama, too.

wv: obalize.

What all the fools who voted for Obama are now saying as they realize he isn't actually the Messiah they were looking for: "Damn! I been Obalized..."

Anonymous said...

Read a book?

They couldn't read the TV warning text or even understand the verbal instructions on TV and Radio, and let's not forget print adverts.

Honestly, a leasurely stroll over to the solyent green production facility for the grand tour is in order.

Toaster 802 said...

Bush digitalized and my TeeWee died! Obama will git me a new one. I voted for him...

...and people wonder why this country is soooo f#%*&d up...

reflectoscope said...

Again, I put forth that stupidity is the only thing that should be taxed.

Jim

TJP said...

Were those the hundreds of thousands of people that demanded the federal government step in and force everyone to adopt a standard and switch to digital signals?

Or maybe they wanted to know in which section of the Constitution appears the power of the federal government power to dictate communication medium. (I believe it's Article VIII, Section 42; right after the part that says the federal government will make certain that paper fiber will always face north, and before the part that says Nancy Pelosi is required to have her eyes set to f-stop 0.5 whenever addressing the public.)

Buck said...

My mother is over 70 and one day she asked me if my internet helped keep the house warm during the winter. Of course I lied and said yes. She has the converter boxs for her tv's, she bitchs about it everytime a bad storm rolls in. Pretty bad when my mom's more tech savey them 3 millon people. And she's also a better speller the me.

Borepatch said...

Almost three million voters. And with what passes for most of the Fed.Gov's "public service" announcements these days, going for a refill of soda when any of them comes on isn't clearly an idiotic strategy.

It'll be interesting to see if some shyster politician (redundancy alert) tries to make hay out of this with Grandma.

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

"Or maybe they wanted to know in which section of the Constitution appears the power of the federal government power to dictate communication medium."

TJP: Actually, I believe it's Article I, Section 8. Commercial radio and broadcast television transmissions would fall quite clearly under the Interstate Commerce clause, because they routinely and easily (and even sometimes unintentionally) cross state lines.

It's also something that requires coordination and allocation. Radio bandwidth is a limited resource, and only one station can use a specific frequency at a time. A TV station in Greensboro, NC can often be picked up in Danville, VA. If there's another station in Lynchburg, VA on the same frequency, they will interfere with each other over a fairly large area. The new digital format allows more stations to broadcast in the same area while using less bandwidth, and frees up some frequencies for other uses.

I always hesitate to grant the government power over anything, but I think this is a legitimate use of the FedGov's power to regulate interstate commerce.

Boyd said...

My favorite head-scratcher was the Comcast ad I saw repeatedly on Friday evening, hours after the conversion to digital took effect. It said, essentially, if your analog TV doesn't work any more, give us a call and switch to cable.

Okay, I suppose they could be watching at a friend's house or something similar, but still...

Assrot said...

I'd rather read a book than watch TeeWee anyway. On the other hand I do like Outdoor, SciFi and AMC channels. The rest of that hogshit you can keep.

It is amazing that we have that many really effing stupid people.

Joe

Anonymous said...

you can lead a horse to water ,BUT only a real idiot ignores years of ads telling them about the change. these idiots need the sutable swift brains of the current administration thinking for them. The trully stupid need the sutible app of clorox to their gene pool.

rickn8or said...

"It is amazing that we have that many really effing stupid people."

It is depressing to think their vote counts just as much as mine does.

ZerCool said...

FWIW, I had no idea that the switch was happening this week. Last I'd heard it had been delayed indefinitely after panic and hysteria from the broadcasters the first time around.

Of course, I don't have cable or an antenna attached to my idiot box - only the DVD player and the console games. *shrug* Too much crap out there to waste my time.

TJP said...

Jake,

Are you talking about the Constitutional requirement that Congress tax all states uniformly? So how do we get from that point to an executive agency dictating that a particular type of activity will end, and that it will henceforth be conducted solely in the manner prescribed by the aforementioned executive agency? Where's the paying-taxes part?

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

TJP,

Actually, it would be the part that says "The Congress shall have power [...] To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes;" which is commonly referred to as the "Interstate Commerce Clause." Article I, Section 8, third paragraph.

It's probably the most commonly abused part of the Constitution, but not in this case.

TJP said...

Sorry, Jake, not buying it. This isn't regulation of commerce, it's dictating how private and free citizens will encode their communication. It doesn't matter whether broadcasters are using smoke signals, NTSC or some other signal. The most that section could conceivably allow is to fine cross-border interference, or do something like (but not limited to) tax businesses who advertise on broadcast stations in the next state over.

mts1 said...

I have an antenna in the attic, which they all tell me unlike the ease it had with analog, makes it useless with HD. I downloaded a manual for making a truss, and will eventually have an antenna mast. For now, the TV sits as useless as it's been since I stopped cable a year ago and never hooked up the attic antenna. The HD box sits on the floor next to the TV stand, still in its Radio Shack bag. Ball games have much better announcers, and if there's something worthwhile on TV, I'll go to the tavern.

wv: dedest - what it felt like when for fun I turned on the old rabbit-ear mini-tv and channel surfed, finding nothing for the first time in life. It had that eerie, 50's sci-fi "civilization died overnight" feel to it.

mts1 said...

Oops, meant to say, "ball games have much better RADIO announcers."

p.s.: didn't we delay the switch from February to June so those 3 million dumbasses could catch up to speed?

Anonymous said...

TJP said...

Sorry, Jake, not buying it. This isn't regulation of commerce, it's dictating how private and free citizens will encode their communication.
========================
WRONG PRIVATE AND FREE CITIZENS ARE NOT ENCODING ANYTHING. THEY HAVE RECEIVERS NOT TRANSMITTERS. Are YOU heterodyning any signals?
Whats your Q?

zutroy said...

As of about 0830 German time, VFTP is the top blog linking to this story at CNN.

Anonymous said...

I've always been a "some" type: Some car racing, some college football, some "Blue Collar Comedy" and so on. Living where there is no broadcast or cable available, I've had satellite TV since around 1984. Big dish, pre-scramble. (It was better, then.)

I went ahead and got a larger, flat-screen TV. When you have tri-focals and are right at half-deaf and don't like moving heavy stuff around, that seemed like a righteous deal to me. :)

Back some thirty years ago, I read that Prime Time was geared for an eighth grade education level. Given what's happened in publick skool edyucashun, I shudder to think what Prime Time is today. But, I don't know; haven't watched any for decades.

Back to my book...

Art

On a Wing and a Whim said...

"Is this thing on?

Alright, here we go! I'm going to sing a song of great social and political import!

...

Oh, Lord, won't you buy me a digital tv? Dialin' for dollars is tryin' to find me! I wait for delivery each day until three. So Lord, won't you buy me a digital tv?"

Still works to describe the mindset, even with the updated adjective - and if I can't get Janis Joplin out of my head, I'll share.