Digital TV

Cohasset / Hippisley
Sun Nov 8 22:40:48 EST 2009

On Nov 8, 2009, at 9:28 PM, Garrett Wollman wrote:

> <<On Sun, 8 Nov 2009 18:10:11 -0500, Kevin Vahey  
> <> said:
>> The bottom line is if someone like myself is having trouble getting a
>> signal I really have to wonder how poor and elderly folks are coping.
> I know that, as someone who works in television, this may not be the
> most comfortable thought for you, but maybe they have figured out that
> *television is not a necessity of life*!
> -GAWollman

Here in the sticks (Adirondacks), last year I could get "passable"  
pictures from five or six of the Syracuse stations, three Watertown  
(NY), two Utica, and one Kingston, Ontario (Channel 11).  Today, I can  
pick up one beautiful Watertown digital signal (the old analog Channel  
7) and its subchannel (Fox outlet, I think), and the still-analog  
Kingston 11.  Everything else over-the-air is gone.  My situation is  
not unusual in this area for people outside the hamlets where Time  
Warner at least has Utica on their system (although I understand they  
have removed Syracuse from the basic level here).

Unfortunately, satellite is no help because:
   a. We're not part of the Syracuse SMSA, we're considered part of  
Albany; and
   b.  Utica and Watertown aren't part of any of the local choices.

Oh, yes, we're part of the "poor and elderly" mentioned above.    And  
I'd have to say that television is more of a "necessity of life" for  
our generation than for our kids and their kids.  Our sons don't want  
much besides the various sports channels and Discovery channel so, for  
the most part, they don't much care about local coverage and certainly  
wouldn't lobby anyone for it.  They get their "news" from yahoo's home  
page, YouTube, and any blogs that happen to cross their paths.

I have to wonder if, in the longer term, it really matters much  
whether digital TV works well or not.  The politicians think they have  
done something nice for us by trading one or two channels of hi-def  
network and syndicated shows for eleven or more of "passable" analog  
with local news and weather.  But given what I see and hear the  
younger generation using for its entertainment and information  
sources, the only people invested in over-the-air TV are us "poor and  
elderly" and the people who work in the industry.   Is over-the-air  
digital TV going the way of newsprint and real books?  What will we do  
with all the 1100-foot towers in Newton and Needham -- put restaurants  
at the top?

Bud Hippisley

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