The Real Reason Everyone is Worried About the DTV Transition
I woke up Friday morning and did my usual perusal of the news. With all of the action taking place in Gaza this past week I expect to see plenty of news about this. The headline that greeted me, however, was one mentioning that Obama wanted the DTV Transition to be pushed back. According to the media, and a number of U.S. senators, we cannot risk millions of Americans going dark on February 17th. This is all so silly I’m not sure where to start.
The fact that Obama has this on his agenda is pretty ridiculous. This is of such low importance given everything going on in the world I can’t imagine why he needs to have an opinion on this. He has remained almost entirely silent on Gaza but THIS he is working on before he takes office. Some will say that this is very important because of the budget implications. The problem with this line of thinking is that while the budget for this particular program is running out Obama’s new budget is going to have much larger issues than this.
The Media is Fear Mongering Again
We can always count on the Media to scare us into a panicked frenzy. What’s interesting is that only 14% of homes in America don’t have pay TV service. Oh sure, there may be a lot more people, the article says it could be as many as 34% of U.S. households, who have at least 1 TV that will no longer work. What this means is that there are only 14% of homes that need to worry about ‘going dark’. The emphasis on this idea that we will be ‘going dark’. These are the types of phrases used to illicit fear and our leaders and news agencies must be more careful when using them. Last I checked my old AM/FM radio still worked using the same D batteries I put in it 3 years ago and it will do a perfectly fine job of getting emergency information to me.
The Real Issue Here.
What is really going on here is that there are a number of people who don’t want to risk losing access to the Americans that sit in front of a TV all day. The statistics for TV usage in America makes it clear what this is all about. The amount of time the average American spends watching TV is at an all time high and TV advertising is a 180 billion dollar industry expected to reach 198 billion dollars in in 2010. This means that everyone from the broadcasters to the networks need to reach the most people they can in order to increase the value of their ad time. No one is concerned about your family not getting emergency announcements because your analog TV won’t pick them up. The only thing anyone is worried about is how to use the TV to peddle their shoddy goods to you and your family.
photo credit: theogeo