Back in January, an estimated 6% of television watchers hadn’t digified their television reception. Today, 3% still haven’t made their equipment 'digital ready.' How will our ruling elite deal with this crisis?
In a no-nonsense move to wake up the remaining couch potatoes, the FCC will run a nationwide DTV "soft test" on May 21.
The "end is near," declared Federal Communications Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein at Tuesday's Open Commission meeting…To get a sense of who is or isn't really ready for this apocalypse, the agency has called upon those broadcasters to run a "soft test" of the switch three times on Thursday, May 21... at 7:25am, 12:30pm, and 6:25pm.
They picked those times because you know they are 'prime time.' What?
But don't hover around your rabbit-eared boob tube counting on seeing them at those exact times. The National Association of Broadcasters sent Ars a message saying that it has an "understanding" with the FCC that some stations "may need some flexibility regarding the time of day and length of the test."
So the FCC thinks this test will create an "intermediate tidal wave" and "wake up a lot of people". I have my doubts, but how is the FCC preparing for this Katrina sized groudswell?
4,000 operators will be standing by at 1-888-CALL-FCC to provide online assistance through three eight-hour shifts. A huge chunk of agency staff (180 employees) have been sent off to 49 markets that it has identified as least prepared for the Great Day. The Commission has awarded contracts to a dozen community organizations to set up 400 "walk-in centers" and 12,000 DTV help clinics to show people how to set up those converter boxes. And a slew of free, in-home technical assistance centers are on the way, which the FCC hopes can knock off over 200,000 installations between now and the conclusion of the transition.
Want to take any bets on which 'community organizers' are involved? ACORN anyone?
In addition, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration says it has cleared out that humongous list of 4.2 million people waiting for converter box discount coupons that it accumulated in January after running out of cash (the American Reconstruction and Recovery Act has replenished its coffers to the tune of $650 million).Well the taxpayers are sure paying a lot so Joe Couch Potato can have his TV pacifier.
Have you kissed a couch potato today?