The following piece of information just entered my inbox and I share it with you:
The U.S. House of Representatives yesterday approved a budget that calls for all American TV to be broadcast via digital signal by Feb. 17, 2009. Translation: Consumers who don’t subscribe to cable or satellite television or who don’t own TV sets capable of receiving digital signals will be out of luck. Since only 15 percent of U.S. households do not currently subscribe to cable or satellite TV, the 2009 date should not pose much of a challenge. The new budget provides up to $80 per household in the way of coupons for those who must purchase converter boxes for their old TV sets; the converters permit old-tech analog TVs to continue to function. Among those objecting to the moves yesterday was Consumers Union. “This is the government making your TV go black and then only paying for part of the costs for some of the people to make it work again,” said Gene Kimmelman, public policy director of the organization.