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Posts Tagged ‘Target’

A little while back, I wrote about the impending analog TV shutdown, which is just about a year away. On February 17, 2009, every last analog TV station in America is due to sign off, making room for the digital TV revolution.

If you live in Little Rock, misfortune may have brought that date forward, at least for some. Friday afternoon, the 2000 foot tower holding up KATV/Channel 7, the local ABC affiliate, and KETS/Channel 2, the PBS station, came tumbling down, leaving nothing but static across Central Arkansas. For the 20%, or more, still receiving analog TV over the air, ABC and PBS are gone. Period. And, one has to wonder if they will ever come back. It is hard to imagine any company spending the millions necessary to rebuild an analog plant, only to shut down in a matter of months. Is this the real beginning of the analog shutdown, though by accident?

As all this is going on, Target continues selling TVs that couldn’t decode a digital TV signal if the transmitter were right next to it, as this photo taken tonight in Germantown demonstrates (and for $100?! Are they insane?).target2.jpeg

I can’t help but picture some poor soul in Arkansas (is that redundant? Oops; again, I digress.) buying a TV at Target, and wondering where Robin Roberts is.

The times they are a’changin’. While the sky may not be falling (well, maybe it was in Little Rock), the DTV changeover is swiftly approaching.

This, by the way, is where Scott will begin to rant and rave about how Apple TV would solve all DTV transition ills. Stand by.

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Over the next year, you are going to be deluged with commercials and articleimg00008.jpgs about the “DTV Transition,” the change-over from traditional analog television to swanky, new digital television (“DTV”). The final step in the transition, the shutdown of the old style analog transmitters is close — February 17, 2009.

This should not impact you too much. Unless you’re using an old analog TV with an antenna, drop-dead day likely will come and go without you noticing. Cable and/or satellite penetration (I love using that word!) is very high, indeed, and for those folks, the programming streams they get now will continue for the near future. But, there are a select few who either can’t afford cable, or just can’t be bothered. Unless they either buy a digital TV, or a converter box (which the government is helping with, but, we’ll save that for another post), that day next year could bring a rude awakening. They might wake up and flip on the CBS Early Show (wait, who are we kidding?) the Today Show, and find nothing but static.

Digital-capable TVs are getting quite affordable. And, big-box retailers like Best Buy and just lousy with ’em. After all, they have been forbidden to continue buying new stock for sale of analog TVs for quite some time. Most have simply removed the remaining sets from store shelves, and doubtless taken an accounting charge. But, not Target.

I was in Target today, and came upon a sad sight. A selection of soon-to-be obsolete TVs just begging for a buyer. And, the little consumer warning on the shelf just isn’t enough to warn the uninitiated that they are buying a 2009 paperweight. Do you think your Aunt Martha understands the difference between analog and digital? And, let’s not even talk about multi-casting!

Come on Target, pack up the 80s technology, K? 2009 ain’t too far off!

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