A few months ago, a friend of mine who works for a public television station made mention of having to show the half-hour digital TV primer yet again. I responded that she could run it 24/7 until February, and she'd still be flooded with calls from people asking why their TV didn't work anymore.
According to a story in the New York Times, not everyone is clear on the concept of what the switch to digital TV actually means.
The Times says that a Consumers Union poll shows:
90% of the public are aware that something is going to change.
25% think that they will be required to subscribe to cable or satellite..
41% think that converter boxes are required for TVs that are connected to cable or satellite.
"'This transition is possibly one of the worst understood consumer education programs in modern times,' said Richard Doherty, an analyst with the Envisioneering Group.... 'On Feb. 18, there will be a tremendous amount of finger-pointing'....
"Congress has allowed analog stations to stay on the air an additional 30 days to broadcast educational messages about the transition. And the cable TV industry has agreed not to switch some of its channels to a digital tier until March 1, to avoid further confusing consumers about the broadcast switch.
"To make matters worse, the transition date occurs when the weather in most of the country is at its coldest and iciest.
"'We’re asking the elderly to go out in the snow to buy a converter box?' Mr. Kelsey said. 'All we need on Feb. 18 is to have someone slip off their roof and get injured as they try to set up a new digital antenna.'"