Happy DTV day. Or so you'd think, by the way the TV newsies are gushing over it. Yes, at one second to midnight tonight the FCC will sound the death knell of analog television. And while they continue to put a smiley face on it, the switch to going to cause grief for millions of Americans. What bothers me most, of course, is that one of those millions of Americans will be me.
Yeah, they’ve been warning people for some time they’d need digital adapters to get over-the-air broadcasts. What they didn’t mention was that digital signals are so weak and ornery that for many viewers, those adapters won’t be worth a damn.
What no one has wanted to address is the dilemma faced by me and my fellow VCR addicts. Cable users won’t be affected, says the FCC. You have nothing to worry about, says Comcast. We’ll take care of you. Like hell. With the cheap little adapters Comcast provided I’ve already lost the ability to record ABC, NBC and Sci-Fi Channel, along with a dozen lesser lights. And that's just the beginning of my nightmare.
Either the politicians didn’t bother to consider what a mess they were making – or just didn’t care. After all, these are the folks who brought us Fannie and Freddie, resulting in our “new” economy. And they’re not done. Now they’re itching to slip a wet willie to the automotive industry.
Everyone out there who thinks government-mandated technology is a good thing, please raise your hands. Great. Keep ‘em up. I only have one pair of pliers, but I’ll get to you as soon as I can.