Joined: 24 Jan 2005
Location: Here Now. Somewhere Else Later
|Posted: Sun Aug 10, 2008 4:59 pm Post subject: JUST SAY NO TO DIGITAL TV
|"I can spend $800 or $900 on an HDTV tuner for my HDTV-ready LCD rear-projection TV, but then I think I either have to go back to the '50s and put an old-fashioned antenna on the roof or buy a bigger satellite dish from DirecTV, and who wants to pay money that, at least indirectly, will further enrich future DirecTV owner Rupert Murdoch, earth's media-mogul version of Ming the Merciless, well-known ruler of the Planet Mongo."
-- TV critic Tom Shales, December 2003
With the help of the U.S. government, the TV watching public has a unique opportunity in the near future. On December 31, 2006, the analog television signal that TV stations have used for more than 60 years will be turned off. Kill Your Television will become a reality!!
Consumers will have a choice in 2006: Permanently unplug their television and embrace the world of reality around them -- or -- Spend hundreds or thousands of dollars to upgrade to digital television (DTV). Digital television is basically the same crap that is on TV now, just clearer.
The whole point of DTV and HDTV (high definition television) is to offer a clearer TV signal -- at a price. And the price will be steep in two ways: First, the actual cost to the consumer for the new DTV products. And second, the cost to the environment as thousands of perfectly useable televisions are rendered useless and placed in trash heaps. The point of the TurnOffYourTV.com web site is for people to unplug from the tube, get rid of their television sets and replace them with books, exercise and rewarding interpersonal activities -- not to trash the television and replace it with a more expensive one.
According to HDTV industry cheerleader Consumer Electronics Association, the move to digital television will bring lots of new revenue to the TV industry. Sony, Mitsubishi, RCA, and GE will make lots of money. "The cumulative unit total for sales since product introduction in the fourth quarter of 1998 [is] 7.3 million. Dollar sales for 2003 are $4 billion, which elevates the total consumer investment in DTV products to $12.7 billion," said CEA in October 2003. The organization expects millions of people to upgrade over the next few years.
The cost of HD-Ready TV sets runs from hundreds of dollars into the thousands. Even if someone buys an $8,000 50-inch high-definition plasma monitor it will probably only be "HD-Ready," which means additional money must be spent for a set-top box to receive local HD broadcasts. Digital conversion boxes for HD-Ready and analog TV sets in addition to Direct TV or cable to receive clear digital signals equal a lot of money spent to watch "Wheel of Fortune."
Basically, digital TV is a scam. The advantages of going digital are a higher screen resolution (greater detail), better color, clearer reception, a wide screen picture and multichannel Dolby Digital surround sound (for which you need expensive upgraded sound equipment). These features are for the over-the-air reception of digital TV. Cable digital TV will offer other features such as movies-on-demand and TV show recording/playback services. DTV offers nothing the consumer cannot already get -- without the added expense of more TV equipment. The program content is basically the same.
According to the Federal Communications Commission: "Digital Television (DTV) is a new type of broadcasting technology that will transform television. Because DTV is delivered digitally, it allows for the delivery of a signal virtually free of interference. DTV broadcasters will be able to offer television with movie-quality pictures and Dolby digital surround sound, along with a variety of other enhancements."
The television industry will be making tons of money so the consumer can get better picture and sound. Currently, CBS is showing "The Young and the Restless" soap opera and NBC shows "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" in HDTV. This is certainly the dawn of tremendous advancements in western civilization.
"Every year, 25 million analog sets are sold in this country, their purchasers blissfully unaware that their new sets come with a government-mandated expiration date," said FCC Chairman Michael K. Powell in September 2003. "Someday, analog broadcasting will cease. When that time comes, consumers will expect their television sets to go on working in the digital world just as they do today. This includes the ability to receive broadcast signals. Indeed, the expectation that TV sets receive broadcast signals is so ingrained that consumers simply assume this functionality is incorporated into their television set."
However, much of the public is unaware that without some added stuff -- the analog television will become useless for broadcast or cable television.
"We recognize that a DTV tuner will initially add costs," continues Powell. "[but], we are confident that economies and efficiencies of scale will drive these costs down."
Not likely. If anything, added DTV services and new improved features will drive costs up and up and up.
However, along with the added cost of purchasing new equipment is the price the environment will pay from trashing the old television sets. Some progressive states, such as Minnesota, have placed an outright ban on putting TV sets into household trash dumps. Television sets produce a steady stream of X-rays so the glass on traditional sets includes lead, which can be poisonous if it seeps into the groundwater below a landfill. A computer monitor has around 2 to 4 pounds of lead in it while a mid-size television set can have 10 to 20 pounds of lead. The safest way is for the television to be deconstructed and recycled so the hazardous lead-containing parts are safely disposed. Organizations such as the GrassRoots Recycling Network are trying convince states to invest in safe disposal and recycling of electronics. However, many states do not yet understand just how many TV sets will soon be considered "door-stops" by the public.
When the analog signal is shut off and digital TV is the standard -- DO NOT PURCHASE NEW EQUIPMENT! Let your television signal die and explore the world around you. Wake up out of the TV-induced stupor and enrich your life with real experiences. Use your perfectly good analog TV to watch videos and DVDs -- without feeding into the television industry's "must have" new technology.
JUST SAY NO TO DIGITAL TV.
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