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  • Digital Television ... your thoughts?

    I'm probably going to start something here, but I am really gung-ho about the upcoming Digital TV transition.

    Most folks these days have cable or satellite, so it isn't much of an event for us, but in discussions with the manager of our local cable office (Time Warner), they have no plans to add all of the subchannels that the TV stations are now capable of offering.

    That left me somewhat cold.

    So I sent off for my allotment of two $40 coupons subsidized by the federales, and recently received them. If you've not seen them, they are basically debit cards that you use toward the cost of a converter box that is hooked to your analog (old-style) TV set.

    I got my boxes -- made by Funai under the Magnavox name -- at Wal-Mart, and I was out just over $20 for both of them. Thanks, Uncle Sam!

    Anyway, I am impressed with them. I bought an early HDTV for the living room, and it turned out to be a costly mistake. You just really don't NEED HD.

    SD is just fine, and on a halfway decent analog set, you'll get great picture and sound. And lots of new channel options!

    Here in Kentucky, we have what is known as Kentucky Educational Television, or KET, and they have four subchannels. One is entirely geared to educational programming, one is PBS, one is HD programming, and the last is all Kentucky-themed shows. I like that.

    Our local ABC and NBC stations have 24-hour weather subchannels, and the ABC station is about to add the Retro TV Network, with shows from the '50s to the '80s. I'm looking forward to that!

    The only stations that have not taken full advantage of the subchannels available to them are our Fox and CBS stations. The CBS station owns the MyNetworkTV outlet, which doesn't have much of anything I care to watch.

    So what do you guys think about all of this? I know it's going to be quite a traumatic switch for some folks, but I think it will be worth all the hubbub in the long run.

    Jacob Newkirk - Owensboro, KY

    KEEP AMERICA BEAUTIFUL! Drive a Studebaker!

  • #2
    Personally, I feel it is scary that corporate america can give an "all-or-nothing-at-all" ultimatum to people in this regard. I mean, we STILL have AM radio. No one was told to purchase a new radio so that they could still hear weather reports and news. (thank goodness AM radio still covers this) On the other hand. Television is way too overtblown as it is. I heard a statistic that the average american watches over 5 hours of tv a day. That blows my mind. Where are they getting the time to do this? Personally, my wife and I watch about six hours a week, on average. And that is mostly movies that we rent. For me, I will not get one of the "boxes." I will continue to rent movies until I can no longer get the format that I already have equipment for. (DVD) Once those are phased out, I will have much less tv in my life than I already have now, and that does not bother me one bit. Tv is an addiction for most people, and this world would be a much better place if it were gone. (or at least if people would limit it to less than an hour a day average) People could spend more time outside and (or) with their family.


    She may have bugs and she may have dings, but that just proves I drive this thing!!

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    • #3
      I won't argue your points, because they are good ones. My kids don't watch any of the more violent cartoons; they watch Noggin and the on-demand kids programs, along with some of the programs on PBS. I have a DVR, so I record most of them and let them watch them at naptime or some other convenient time. I've actually considered dumping cable completely, as SkyAngel, which is a Christian-themed television provider, is offering good deals on their service, and they have most of the channels I prefer to watch anyway.

      90% of the time, if the TV is on where I am, it's for background noise and/or news and weather updates.

      And I'll second your emotion on AM radio; I may be only 30, but I LOVE AM. It just about killed me when WIBC in Indianapolis switched from 1070 AM to 93.1 FM ... I used to be able to listen to it in the car even here in Owensboro, KY during the day. Being as I'm home (or out and about) with children all day, it was nice to have some intelligent adult voices "talking to me." Now I have to listen online, which I haven't totally figured out yet. (I have Windows Vista and use Apple Safari as my browser; for some reason I am still working out "bugs," which is unusual for Apple.

      Jacob Newkirk - Owensboro, KY

      KEEP AMERICA BEAUTIFUL! Drive a Studebaker!
      Jacob Newkirk - Owensboro, KY

      KEEP AMERICA BEAUTIFUL! Drive a Studebaker!

      Comment


      • #4

        Ha, you may not realize this, but I am actually younger than you! 26, actually. My peers think I am crazy Because of how involved I am into studying and collecting history. My office is decked out 1940's style, I won't let my wife put the computer in there next to my typewriter. I have a 1946 Truetone Standing radio I use for background noise while I do bills the old fashioned way. I figure I should make it a little fun to watch my accounts bleed. Yeah, I was born about sixty years too late...




        She may have bugs and she may have dings, but that just proves I drive this thing!!

        Comment


        • #5
          quote:Originally posted by jnewkirk77



          And I'll second your emotion on AM radio; I may be only 30, but I LOVE AM. It just about killed me when WIBC in Indianapolis switched from 1070 AM to 93.1 FM ... I used to be able to listen to it in the car even here in Owensboro, KY during the day. Being as I'm home (or out and about) with children all day, it was nice to have some intelligent adult voices "talking to me." Now I have to listen online, which I haven't totally figured out yet. (I have Windows Vista and use Apple Safari as my browser; for some reason I am still working out "bugs," which is unusual for Apple.

          Jacob Newkirk - Owensboro, KY

          KEEP AMERICA BEAUTIFUL! Drive a Studebaker!
          You have a computer in your house, but don't have an FM radio?

          Comment


          • #6
            Yeah, I have one of the early (2003) HD ready 52 inch Sony's and
            got HDTV through the satellite provider....no big difference, that
            I can see......plus the channel selection is almost 90 channels of
            stuff that my family and I don't normally watch. They really want
            you to go out and get either a LCD/PLASMA/DCLP flat panel.

            glen Brose - Perkinsville, AZ

            Comment


            • #7
              I got a XM satellite radio for Christmas last year and didn't think I'd use it, back can't live without the darn thing now. I've preset a few dozen of my favorite stations, but listen mostly to the 50's channel, the 60's channel, news and a few talk radio channels. The Old time radio channel is a blast too, Gun Smoke, Yours Truly Johhny Dollar, and the rest. I'm a techno freak, I have a Ipod, the XM, AM/FM and CD in my cars. AS far as HDTV goes, I love it, can't wait for more to be added to the satellite.

              JDP/Maryland
              64 R2 GT (Sid)
              spent to date $62,839.60
              63 Daytona HT/4 speed
              63 Lark 2 door


              JDP Maryland

              Comment


              • #8
                Oh, I have an FM radio, probably more than I can count on both hands (if you include the battery powered ones), but I can't get WIBC-FM as I'm 150+ miles from the station. AM travels a lot farther! I need to get rid of a few of my radios, mainly because I think I'd like to give one of the new HD radios a try, but our local radio stations haven't sprung for the equipment yet. Wouldn't make much sense for me to buy something now that is of no use to me yet.

                As far as old-tech, probably my favorite piece is my late grandfather's c. 1948 Zenith Consol-Tone "Long Distance" AM radio. It belonged to my great-grandparents before they died, and Grandpa used it in his workshop for many, many years. It is stuck on the local nostalgia station, because it needs to have the tuning control fixed, but it plays well once the tubes warm up. I use it very seldom, because I have NO idea where I'd find tubes for it. I reckon I could find 'em if I had to, but why force the issue?

                Although I am somewhat old-school in my love for what most would call "obsolete" electronics, I LOVE new technology. Maybe a little too much. I guess that's why I forgave Microsoft for the shafting I took years ago when Windows ME came out and bought a Vista Home Premium-equipped laptop. I love it, BUT, it has its PITA moments. Lots of 'em. Oh well, "you pays your money and you takes your chances," as the saying goes.

                Jacob Newkirk - Owensboro, KY

                KEEP AMERICA BEAUTIFUL! Drive a Studebaker!
                Jacob Newkirk - Owensboro, KY

                KEEP AMERICA BEAUTIFUL! Drive a Studebaker!

                Comment


                • #9
                  If you are a techki, try the free Apple internet browser, now for windows. I'm a Firefox guy, but so far, I'm impressed. I won't even touch IE.

                  http://www.apple.com/safari/download/

                  JDP/Maryland
                  64 R2 GT (Sid)
                  spent to date $62,839.60
                  63 Daytona HT/4 speed
                  63 Lark 2 door


                  JDP Maryland

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I got it a few days ago, JDP. I like it, too. I'm only using IE for my local paper, which for some reason doesn't play well with Safari, at least on this one. I really like the way I can put my most-used bookmarks across the top bar. That's just really handy!

                    Jacob Newkirk - Owensboro, KY

                    KEEP AMERICA BEAUTIFUL! Drive a Studebaker!
                    Jacob Newkirk - Owensboro, KY

                    KEEP AMERICA BEAUTIFUL! Drive a Studebaker!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The reason behind the digital TV is to open bandwidth. Google just paid the Gov't something like $43 million to be put on a list of potential bidders for the new bandwidth that TV takes up.

                      The Gov't could afford to hand out these boxes as they are going to mke a windfall when the bidding starts. Some of it will go to Fire and Police, but most will be snapped up by the private sector.

                      http://bondobilly.com/clay.jpg

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        In regards to Safari on Windows PC's it wasn't until yesterday
                        that Apple changed its mind, about only allowing it to be used
                        "free" on 1 labeled Apple PC's, per household. For those of you
                        who want to chance down loading it on your WIndow's PC...it
                        now can be done but still confusing......Just Google "Apple
                        Safari" on Google News and there is alot of stuff to read on it.







                        glen Brose - Perkinsville, AZ

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                        • #13
                          Thanks for the info, Glen ... I now have only one working computer in the house, but I'm glad to know it can be done should I get the other one up and running again. My two older daughters socked it with a bunch of viruses from their gamer sites, so I made an "executive decision" to leave it dead for a while. (And no, they are NOT allowed to touch my laptop!)


                          Jacob Newkirk - Owensboro, KY

                          KEEP AMERICA BEAUTIFUL! Drive a Studebaker!
                          Jacob Newkirk - Owensboro, KY

                          KEEP AMERICA BEAUTIFUL! Drive a Studebaker!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Jacob, from one of the articles, saying, while it can be done,
                            you just have to get around 2 very conflicting license agreements
                            that were put on there, probably by Steve Jobs, to make it more
                            confusing, to say the least.... and to make Apple just more silly!

                            I know what you mean about daughters and virus's of the week
                            issues....


                            glen Brose - Perkinsville, AZ

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Well, Glen, I've always been a little suspicious of Apple, at least since the ill-fated IIgs computer came out, and was almost immediately obsoleted by the Macintosh. Our very small Catholic school, which had only nine computers in the whole building back then (this was the 1980s, and most of the "fleet" -- Commodore 64s -- had been donated by my late grandmother and some of her friends) bought a IIgs, and it was a PITA to find anything that was compatible with it within a short period of time. The school later got a donation from American Electric Power, and purchased IBM-compatibles, and at last check, they are still PC-only.

                              I got off on that tangent because, although my family's first "real" computer (aside from Dad's short-lived Timex Sinclair, which required a cassette recorder and B&W TV to operate) was an Apple IIc, we have always found PCs easier to use and more adaptable for our needs. I know I'm probably in the minority there, but until Windows XP came along, there was very little I could not do to a PC. XP changed the ballgame, and I'm still learning it. Vista has changed it again.

                              Jobs likes to make things to suit himself, IMHO. That's fine for the people who think like him, but I'm not sold. A friend of mine bought an iPhone, and he loves it. I think it's the most horrible thing ever designed. But there again, my Samsung phone has features I like and probably a hundred more I don't know about. But it does what I want it to do. And that's what it really boils down to, if something does what it's supposed to do -- and my experience with Safari seems to indicate it does -- then that's just dandy. But I've little use for something that doesn't. I've parted company with a good many "amazing" new products that I thought I couldn't live without!

                              Jacob Newkirk - Owensboro, KY

                              KEEP AMERICA BEAUTIFUL! Drive a Studebaker!
                              Jacob Newkirk - Owensboro, KY

                              KEEP AMERICA BEAUTIFUL! Drive a Studebaker!

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