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What The Government SHOULD Do about Digital

Discussion in 'Local Reception' started by Msguy, Nov 19, 2008.

  1. Msguy

    Msguy Hall Of Fame

    May 22, 2003
    Instead of issuing something like what is it? 2 Coupons to each household for Digital Converter Boxes? How About Issuing 1 $150 Coupon to each household to be used at any retailer nationwide towards the purchase of a brand spankin' new HD Television instead of "Giving" people 2 coupons to keep their old sets working that will more than likely "Conk" out on them in another 2 or 3 years anyway why not just give them something so they could go out and progress up to a nicer newer and not to mention better HD Television? Wouldn't that make more sense than keeping an old television going that as i stated earlier will probably not last much longer anyhow? That's just my opinion. Feel free to flame me or say that my idea is a better one. :)
  2. Alan Gordon

    Alan Gordon Chancellor

    Jun 7, 2004
    Dawson, Georgia
    I know multiple people who have older TVs that needed digital converter boxes which so big, that $150 wouldn't pay for another HD television without going to a tiny box. Heck, K-Mart's got a 26-inch HDTV this week for $299... and that's smaller than some of the TVs the people I know have.

  3. LarryFlowers

    LarryFlowers New Member

    Sep 22, 2006
    There are far, far too many people out there who would be unable to even consider the purchase of a bad HDTV with $150 in assistance. For a change the government's approach was probably the right one.
  4. hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

    Jul 28, 2004
    Subsidizing anything more than a mandated conversion cost is a bad idea and overkill.

    The change to digital has been giong on, advertised on all channels, written about in almost every publication, and publically talked about now for many, many years. If people are not on board by now....let them eat cake.
  5. bglenn

    bglenn Cool Member

    Nov 18, 2008
    Most of the TVs out there that need digital TV converter boxes aren't going to "Conk" out in a few more years. It's not like all the TVs that need converter boxes are 1970's models or something like that. :nono2:
  6. Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

    Jun 18, 2006
    First of all I'm moving this to the Broadcast/HDTV forum.

    Second of all, that ship has sort of sailed, don't you think? It was impossible to say or certain that HDTV prices would be as low as they are now when the coupon program got started in 2005-2006. Also the goal was to let people keep their TVs not give them a new one.
  7. Sirshagg

    Sirshagg Hall Of Fame

    Dec 29, 2006
    +1, heck I'll bet there are plenty of people out there not able to afford the difference between the govt coupon ($40) and the actual cost of the converters ($50 + tax).
  8. brant

    brant Icon

    Jul 6, 2008
    i second that. i've noticed that all my old stuff seems to last longer than new stuff. :)

    i have a magnavox TV my grandmother gave me for Christmas in 1990 when I was 8 years old; it still works great. I bought two new tube TV's in 2004, one an RCA and one a Phillips, and neither of them still work. One lost the picture tubes and another just stopped coming on altogether.
  9. jimmyv2000

    jimmyv2000 Hall Of Fame

    Feb 15, 2007
    Manchester NH
    I have an old panasonic mfg date:11/14/83 still works like new.plus an RCA set i bought back in 2002 thats works well also for the guest room.
    I have my old RCA D* box hooked up to the panny in the kids room.
    I guess they don't make em good like they used to.
  10. Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Jan 7, 2005
    Kittrell, NC
    I've said it before and I'll say it again... The $50 coupons for converters is a waste of money in my opinion. In order to be able to use the $50 coupon you have to already have a TV, a home, and be able to afford monthly power/food and so forth bills... so the $50 is really a drop in the bucket amortized over the year to that person.

    Meanwhile, there are people who don't have a home and can't afford electricity and don't know where they'll next get a meal... and those people can't opt for even a $50 voucher for something to eat and a new coat or something for the upcoming winter.

    I feel a LOT more sympathy for the latter I just described than the former "needing" an HDTV coupon voucher.
  11. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

    Nov 13, 2007
    There are lots of folks, mostly older, who were able to buy and pay for all of those things during their primary earning years, who are now on fixed incomes and trying to get by. Given that the money to pay for the boxes came directly from the auction of some of the recovered frequencies, I think it's fine.

    In this country, there are very few people who are forced to live that way. Sure, there are plenty of people who DO live that way, but they do so by choice (usually too stubborn to live under someone else's rules, or to give up their addiction). Having worked with these folks over the years, I can tell you that most will turn down a roof and a meal if it comes with any conditions, and would rather beg than work. There are certainly exceptions, but sooner or later they tend to figure out the system and either use it as intended, and recover, or become one of the ones who stays on the streets by choice.
  12. Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Jan 7, 2005
    Kittrell, NC
    Don't think me an evil ogre, I hope... I do understand fixed income situations. But $50 comes out to about $4.17 per month amortized over the course of a year and people who knew enough to apply for the $50 voucher had to have known about the digital cutoff at least a year coming.

    Anyone truly so poorly off that $4.17 per month over the course of one year would screw up their fixed income is much more likely to have other more pressing issues to deal with. Seriously.. $4.17 breaking the bank means they are in such a precarious situation that even a minor health issue or home repair issue would put them out of their home... and that would be a much more significant need to address than TV.

    I don't know what the statistics are... I also know, and agree, many people fall into the circumstances that you describe where they could work but do not want to... However, I also know that if ALL the unemployed and homeless showed up tomorrow for a job and a place to live that there would be NO way to accomodate them all... so it isn't as if choice is the only thing in play.

    Factor in the new economy lately and lots of folks who were living high last year are on the unemployment line this year... and I personally just feel that money would be much better spent in other areas than upgrading people's TVs.

    I don't want to go all political... it's just that when I see folks complaining about the voucher program (and asking/expecting more of it) I can't help but think that seems a poor place to be focussing energy.
  13. BillRadio

    BillRadio Legend

    Aug 5, 2004
    The coupon program has nothing to do with making digital affordable. It was only developed as a way to quell the complainers so they would not oppose the transition.

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