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Cable companies reassure customers with analog televisions

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 06 Sep 2007 9:54 User comments (11)

Cable companies reassure customers with analog televisions The cable television industry wants to assure their customers that their TVs will continue to work after the 2009 mandatory switch to digital television.
In an attempt to get the message to consumers they're using a $200 million ad campaign featuring four spots that will be aired not only on cable networks, but also traditional broadcast television.

Actually cable customers aren't the group that should be most concerned with the transition to all digital signals. According to a 2005 Government Accountability Office, 21 million households get their television signal over the air, rather than through cable television or satellite.

Kyle McSlarrow, president and CEO of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, said cable subscribers will not be affected, including those who subscribe to analog rather than the more expensive digital service.

Cable companies are not currently under any requirement to continue analog service after the digital transition, but the FCC may change that in a vote scheduled for Tuesday.

People watching SDTV, the standard analog signal most common right now, from an over the air signal will be forced to either purchase a converter box of some kind or a new digital television.

Advocates for the elderly and minorities are concerned the public will be caught by surprise by the transition. While Congress appropriated $1.5 billion for a program to deliver digital converter box coupons with priority given to people receiving over the air SDTV, only $5 million of the total is dedicated to a public education campaign.

The National Association of Broadcasters says they plan to begin their own campaign near the end of this year.

Source: Associated Press

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11 user comments

16.9.2007 10:20

I didn't think the cable companies would force their customers to switch. If they were to do that, many customers would start considering the alternatives (DirecTV, Broadcast Digital, etc.) and they would loose a percentage of their customers.

26.9.2007 10:24

I guess that's good news, but for $50 a month (thats what standard analog costs by me) you would think they could just upgrade everyone to Digital and lower their prices...

They are doing this to force people to "upgrade" to a higher price level or to force people to purchase standard analog cable if they want to watch TV. Cable is a rip off and so is satellite, but cable more so.

36.9.2007 10:26

In a way I'm behind the choice to give out coupons for the boxes. I work in an electronics department for a major warehouse store, and I get people every day that don't want to spend hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars on a new tv or digital capable DVD recorder. They just want to keep using their existing tv that "works fine". If the FCC mandates changes in frequency delegation on a scale that impacts the whole country, they should step up and provide the public help. Think about low-income people that had to save for maybe months to buy a 19-inch tv from Wal-mart or a pawn shop. They can't afford the new stuff right away. They sure will feel cheated or left out the day their tv stops working.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 06 Sep 2007 @ 10:29

46.9.2007 11:19

Originally posted by H0bbes:
They sure will feel cheated or left out the day their tv stops working.
No offense, but the "majority" of this "minority" are those getting government handouts anyways. With their sense of entitlement, they will just b1tch about their TV not working and probably get more than a coupon.

It's those people that work minimum wage jobs and aren't tech savvy, like my mother, that are really going to be left in the dark. They better put these ads ALL OVER TV, and be better than a 30 second spot. I'm sorry, but giving vouchers for a box just shows how lazy our people on Capitol Hill have gotten.

56.9.2007 12:47

Quote:
Originally posted by H0bbes:
They sure will feel cheated or left out the day their tv stops working.
No offense, but the "majority" of this "minority" are those getting government handouts anyways. With their sense of entitlement, they will just b1tch about their TV not working and probably get more than a coupon.

It's those people that work minimum wage jobs and aren't tech savvy, like my mother, that are really going to be left in the dark. They better put these ads ALL OVER TV, and be better than a 30 second spot. I'm sorry, but giving vouchers for a box just shows how lazy our people on Capitol Hill have gotten.
try living on below minimum wage,try makign it where if you work you lose that steady amount of money,or your healthcare goes away leaving you holding 200$ monthly bills, then theres the good onld fashioned we'll teach you how to work at minmium wage and give you a steady below minmium wage check untill you get a job that lasts for a month.....

hand outs aren't free yo!

0-o
*shoots the dumb voice*
>>

66.9.2007 12:53

I believe in well fiar but it needs to be better balanced to make sure people have gotten off the ground befor droppign them.....creating a solid health care system that will take care of them would a long way to fix that....

And don't get me started on corperate welfare...

Suits:but but it makes jobs!
Blue collar: ya in other countries!
Suits:it builds the lively hood of the working populace!
Blue collar:ya in china.....while devastating the US working populace....

rantrantrant............

76.9.2007 13:53

Agreed with all the comments left above about my first one. Most of those ARE obvious. I was in no way excusing the lazy politicians or the people referred to in this statement: "No offense, but the "majority" of this "minority" are those getting government handouts anyways. With their sense of entitlement, they will just b1tch about their TV not working and probably get more than a coupon. " There is NO excuse for laziness.
I was referring to people like my disabled aunt and grandparents who have just gotten comfortable with how to operate a DVD player. THEY are the ones who will suffer, for lack of me finding a better word. These are the people who truly need the government's help.

86.9.2007 14:05

Originally posted by H0bbes:
Agreed with all the comments left above about my first one. Most of those ARE obvious. I was in no way excusing the lazy politicians or the people referred to in this statement: "No offense, but the "majority" of this "minority" are those getting government handouts anyways. With their sense of entitlement, they will just b1tch about their TV not working and probably get more than a coupon. " There is NO excuse for laziness.
I was referring to people like my disabled aunt and grandparents who have just gotten comfortable with how to operate a DVD player. THEY are the ones who will suffer, for lack of me finding a better word. These are the people who truly need the government's help.
sorry rant mode went over 9000 LOL

ya now I see what you mean,that the lower bracket will be hurt the most if the goverment dose not make sure the switch is done correctly.

99.9.2007 16:50

It is funny how this changeover has been discussed for about 10 years now, but the powers that be are waiting until the absolute last minute to inform the general public about it. You would be surprised how many people haven't heard of the mass switch to digital.

109.9.2007 16:55

Originally posted by Unfocused:
It is funny how this changeover has been discussed for about 10 years now, but the powers that be are waiting until the absolute last minute to inform the general public about it. You would be surprised how many people haven't heard of the mass switch to digital.
And the digital pipes though the phone lines are helping deflate the nazi cable companies but only wind up making meaner conglomerates ;_; "oh goverment lilbig brother is groping me!!"

1110.9.2007 19:00

either way consumers will have to change their signals regardless due to the non support for the old signal. i just hope by then the prices would drop.

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