800,000 People Couldn’t Figure Out Digital TV

f9ed60b5-8d68-4922-8464-96aa310d55e2.hmediumNow that the transition from analog to digital has officially taken place, it seems there are a lot of people still confused as to either what has happened or how to work the new technology. This shouldn’t come as a surprise as at least half the people I know still don’t have a clue how to operate their VCRs and/or DVD players. And truth be told, many of them would be fine if they weren’t so damn intimidated by it all. I’ve talked friends through how to work their DVD player, made them do it with me there, only to get a call a week later that they don’t know how to do it. I guess some people’s brains just don’t think in technological terms. Computers, TVs, you name it, it’s a mystery to them. But with technology only advancing, they better get past their intimidation and learn how to read the instruction manual. Either that or give up on movies and TV and get back to reading books. Nothing wrong with that.

According to the Associated Press:

Nearly 800,000 calls were received by a federal hot line this week from people confused about the nationwide move on Friday to drop analog TV signals and broadcast only in digital…

The Federal Communications Commission said that about 317,450 calls went into the help line, 1-888-CALL-FCC, on Friday alone, the day analog signals were cut off. Another 102,000 came in Saturday by 6 p.m. Eastern time…

About a third of Friday’s calls to the FCC were still about federal coupons to pay for digital converter boxes, an indication that at least 100,000 people still didn’t have the right equipment to receive digital signals…

And while we’re on this subject, another thing that irks me… people with widescreen TVs who watch “flat” programming stretched. What’s up with that? Can’t you see that everyone is suddenly short and fat?



Again, read the manual, learn how to use your television. But I guess it’s just not that important to some people. The same way letterboxing wasn’t important. The average Joe or Jane didn’t care if they were missing huge chunks of the image. Hell, they aren’t even aware that movies are made in more than one aspect ratio. For the love of god, half the people I speak to still think the actors are making up their lines as they go along! Anyone ever hear of a writer?! Well, it’s true, in Hollywood they try not to…



And now with Blu-ray–which is everything it’s hyped up to be–there’s a whole new experience for people to mess up and be confused about. 420i, 420p, 720i, 720p, 1080i, 1080p… If your TV doesn’t handle 1080p, then you’re not reaping the full benefits of Blu-ray. But even if your TV does handle it, many don’t have a clue how to access it or set it up. So they hook their Blu-ray players up incorrectly and wonder why the image doesn’t look any better than standard def DVDs. Then I get the phone calls about how much Blu-ray sucks and what a waste of money it is.

Ahhh, that feels better. Needed to get that off my chest.

So, for those of you either with cable, satellite or a digital to analog converter box that they know how to use, enjoy TV in all its digital glory. For those that still don’t have a clue what I’m talking about… Please refrain from calling me.

And for you home theater/DVD lovers out there, take a look at this funny rant about DVDs from the folks over at Daily Motion.

800,000 People Couldn’t Figure Out Digital TV

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