Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

March 17, 2009


New America Media - In three months, old TV sets that receive signals through the air - with the aid of rabbit ear or roof antennas - will stop working. . . A crush of complaints prompted Congress to delay the massive switch when it realized that many of the estimated 20 million U.S. households - mostly low-income and seniors - were not ready for the analog-to-digital TV transition. The federally mandated switch will free up the airwaves for emergency services and wireless technology.

The switch requires people to install digital converter boxes to their old television sets. To offset the costs to the public, the government instituted a $40 coupon program -- two vouchers for each U.S. household. But the coupon system was riddled with problems. Last year, officials ran out of them. In addition, people who earlier had received the cards couldn’t redeem the coupons because they had expired.

Although some federal stimulus package money has been pumped into the digital TV switch, [the] program only allows for coupons to be sent to addresses defined as existing households designated by the U.S. Postal Service, excluding buildings that don’t provide individual locked mailboxes to its residents. Postal officials do not recognize SROs as households, but as a place of business.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Television is the idiot box, it makes people believe stupid things like televised news. I find it hard to believe that people could be harmed by not receiving hours of advertising each week. Personally I think making TV unavailable would be a great gift for US culture.

March 19, 2009 1:25 PM  

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