Friday, January 30, 2009

The US House (Especially Republicans) want you to lose your tv

The US Senate demonstrated some common sense when they voted unanimously to delay the digital switch over until June 12th. However, the US House got caught up in their never ending gamesmanship and created a scenario where a procedural situation caused the vote to fail.
Although "yes" votes outnumbered "no" votes by 258 to 168, the vote was held under a set of procedural rules that required a two-thirds majority to pass. Despite the current cuddly non-partisan nicey-nice in Washington, the vote was largely on party lines: 155 Republicans voted against (22 for) and 236 Democrats 236 voted for (13 against).

First I'm against the whole digital thing as everyone I know who has gotten one of these adapters has had problems, and it appears it is really designed to force people to have to pay for service through either a cable or a satellite company. I don't think we should have to pay to get basic television service to be able to access the news and especially to access public broadcasting channels.

Secondly the whole "coupon" program is a farce. My husband, lord only knows why, requested the alloted two coupons quite some time ago, we of course didn't need them yet and the few times he went to "collect" the coupon none of the stores had the adapter. So they expired. You'd think it would be no big deal, since there is verification that the coupons were never used, it would just be a matter of getting new coupons. It doesn't work that way, whether you use them or not, no one for your address can get new coupons. Which is really stupid because let's say for the sake of an example, I kick him out of the house and he had gotten his two adapters. I'd not be able to get my own.

This creates an almost "black market" coupon deal where people who have experienced this then ask people that they know who have cable or satellite to request coupons on their behalf. Which means those who do this, should they ever want to rid themselves of cable, will never be able to get adapters of their own.

Customer service for these adapters is horrid. A friend who has the Acess brand states it makes her tv's hum, she has to call the company then wait for someone to call her back, if you are not home at the time they call back? You have to call in and start the process all over again.

Worse yet, even if the House does get their act together and the mainly Republican problem makers agree to the longer time period, television stations can go digital anyway. Which most of them probably will with the way they've harped on the countdown without cessation.

I'm not buying a box that doesn't work to receive a television signal that tax dollars has gone to create. Which means most likely after February 17th my family will be televisionless along with possibly millions of others who even if they wanted to get the coupons, the program has run out of money for. There's no reason why we should have to replace our television sets that are still working, for something that was pretty pointless to begin with.

1 comment:

Robin said...

I ordered my coupons and received them in June. I went to Best Buy to get my boxes. I bought them almost as soon as I got the coupons because I was afraid that if I waited until August (when the coupons expired), I wouldn't be able to find one. We did have some trouble with the new boxes when we first put them in. The stations would pixel out on us. But, lately there haven't been many problems. Although, there was that morning last month when there was no signal on CH 13 and it didn't wake me up (I have my TV set up as an alarm clock), luckily that was on a Saturday. Hmmm... I am extremely disappointed that these boxes are made in China. So, it seems like it's another US Government sponsored windfall for China. One thing that I really don't like is that there is no clock for the box, you can't program it to turn on or turn off at a certain time. So, I have to leave the box on all night if I want to wake up to the TV.