Friday, September 26, 2008

About the phrase "it won't work" in ref. to analog TVs and the Feb 17th ATSC switchover

I hear this allllll the time. And it drives me nuts. They assume people are too stupid to know any better and so they bring the "techie talk" down to the level of the "common man" by using simplistic concepts and terms.

What I mean is when the people in charge tell us how the Feb 17th switchover will go down they constantly say "On Feb 17th your old analog TV will no longer work." Whaaaaa? As if there was a chip in them that makes them blow up right on the 17th? OF COURSE they'll still work! They'll just be incompatible with the new ATSC signals. ATSC is the successor to NTSC. The signal the analog TVs were able to get before the switchover.

Oh, your analog TV will still work. You'll still be able to hook up your old Nintendo to it. Hey! That even leads me to wonder something. If you keep your old analog TV what kinds of signals will you get? Maybe if you tune in every once in a while you'll get local pirate TV stations of some sort? Intriguing...

Nah, don't let them misinform you. Your TVs will still work. I've even noticed that they're starting to change their wordings in the TV ads to omit the "won't work" part and just show you what will happen. Usually they demonstrate snow on the screen. Which is more accurate than "won't work". And they have always suggested buying an ATSC tuner, so that's fine.

The ATSC tuner I have is one I waited for for about 4 months and paid about $10 for after the government rebate. It's the Echostar/DishNetwork/SlingMedia DTVPal. It's very cool. Works just like a cable box with the 7 day schedule (which I simply loooove). Coaxial and composite/stereo out as well. No S-Video though. Which is fine since my old TV doesn't have S-Video anyway (though it does have S/PDIF just because it also has a built in DVD player). I recommend the tuner fully. You can find it here: One problem I do notice is that if you set the tuner to switch to a channel at a given time it seems to forget the setting either when you turn the device off or after about a couple hours of non-interaction. That sucks. I guess that's why we buy Tivos.

Good idea for using old TVs? Use them for your old game consoles and receivers! Use them as affordable monitors for security. There's bound to be tons of them now for your experimenting pleasure. :-)

No comments: