Friday, January 9, 2009

Digital TV, TiVo, etc

The Obama administration came out publicly yesterday and requested that the switch to Digital TV - scheduled for February 17th, be delayed.  The Paper of Record has a story about it here.  I have pretty mixed feelings on this whole issue.

On one hand, Congress first acted on this in 2005.   We need to get on this people, delays will only push things back further and slow progress.

On the other hand, apparently the government is almost out of money for its voucher program - with several million homes still without a digital converter box.  I don't know if these people have been living in caves that they haven't gotten the memo that their TV is being cut off - but I do understand the confusion surrounding the program and the lack of information being disseminated to these people.

The way of telling people with analog signals about the switch was to broadcast a few times, during prime time over the analog waves and telling people they needed a converter box.  Um.  No.  Shut off TV for a day, just displaying only that message.

I would support the Obama Administration's action if on February 17th people without DTV just saw a message directing them to the DTV Transition website or telephone number - telling them that they would no longer have TV.  Then regular TV would be back, then the same message a week later ... repeating until sometime by the end of March when analog signals would be cut and the country went full DTV.  That's my plan, Obama are you on board?

Switching gears - TiVo!  NYT has the dish here - but TiVo introduced a new beta search this week at CES.  If you have a Series3 or HD, you can check it out inside the music, movies, etc menu.  It is really cool.  As you type in a show or actors name it chooses the most popular to display first - also surrounding you with cool clips and videos about that and other shows.  I can't wait for this search to come out of Beta, because its awesome.

And finally on the etc note ... according to WaPo, here, 213 venues will be open until the 4am last call during Inauguration weekend.  About 70 venues still have pending issues with ANCs and citizens associations.  All I can say is AMERICA!

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