MSN, the sky isn’t falling

April 26, 2005

snowOk this is going to stray a little from the typical neato product, or xyz just released 123 post. Time and time again I open up my browser only to see some sensationalized headline on MSN.com (I never bothered changing the homepage). Well this particular headline is just too silly to ignore.

The headline from MSN’s mainpage reads “The End of TV as We Know it? 70 million television sets may go dark in ‘06”

Who writes this stuff? Hey how about “What you should know about the digital television conversion process” or “Is your television ready for the DTV switch-over?” Ah but it gets more garish, when the unsuspecting dupe, err reader, clicks on the link they’re welcomed with “The deadline to convert to digital TV is close, but don’t throw out those rabbit ears yet” Huh? Which one is it? This must be a joy to read if you don’t actually follow this sort of geek speak.

While the actual article (by Michael Rogers) is technically competent, my real gripe is with the teasers that lead up to the article. For clarifications sake, I have no problem with the article itself. Ok lets clear some of this up. While the original analog cut off date was in 2006 (even that’s arguable), 2008 is generally accepted as the hard cut off date. And even then if you’re sitting in front of a television on insert-date-here and the blank screen takes you by surprise, well I really don’t know what to tell you other than, pull your head out of the sand.

Rogers makes mention of digital converters, and alludes to their cost; while I would agree someone who only receives off-air signals and owns a non hi-def set may need to shell out for a converter box, I’d argue they just might want to invest in cable. The cable companies are more than aware of the switch-over and would be more than happy to provide end users (for a fee of course) with a cable box capable of displaying signals on any television.

So relax everyone, you won’t come home one night lusting for your fix of Survivor, only to stare at snow. Or rather if you do you’re probably still trying to figure out who’s in the Whitehouse, and when President Clinton is coming back from vacation, because that’s about the time the switchover was announced.



Posted by Bryan Greenway | | Filed Under Commentary


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