The first wave of digital-only TV broadcasts

We have been getting warnings from the government that come February 17, 2009, the world as we know it will end as a new, crisp, digital world will come into focus. The apocalypse? I think not. If Nostradamus was unable to predict that, what makes you think a bunch of suits in Washington can? No, I am talking about the end of analog terrestrial television broadcasts. If you haven't heard about this yet, you may as well crawl back under your rock because it doesn't apply to you.

Yes, all the seven percent of the people in this nation that don't have cable or satellite TV service _might_ have to do something about it. Of those seven percent of the households, only those with a TV lacking a digital tuner will have to do something. As of March 1, 2007, all TVs sold in the U.S. were required to have a digital tuner, but almost all were in compliance a year prior to the deadline. Let's say a TV's life is 10 years, so by next February, only two-thirds of that seven percent, or less than five percent, or about 14 million people need to step out of their caves and smell the digital brew. Mmmmmmm. Between the adds on the radio, television, news, etc., I am going to venture that only the most clueless or disconnected people will be affected. And that number will be much less that the 14 million people mentioned above.

Why harp on about something that already has such great publicity? Well, today is the trial run for those blessed souls in Wilmington, N.C. Since they are the guinea pigs for the transition, it seems that the FCC in its entirety and at least half the world's news reporters are on-site, bothering all the residents of this little town. The suits have descended to try to determine how many sharks are in the deep waters they pushed our unsuspecting nation into several years ago when they mandated the switch to digital broadcasting. The thing that kills me is that the town has been canvassed and hit upside the head so many times with the message that I don't see how anything could go wrong. It's like an open-book test or a stacked deck of cards. Why even bother playing the game if you already know the outcome? Well, now you see how your tax dollars are hard at work for you.

Sooner than you think . . .

Those of us who were stressing out because of the impending switch to digital can safely put our minds at ease because the Apocalypse is coming sooner than you think. On Wednesday, September 10th, CERN will turn on the Large Hadron Collider. It will begin smashing protons together at speeds approaching the speed of light, recreating the conditions present just after the Big Bang. It will likely produce mini black holes and may even produce a strangelet. So do I upgrade to a Digital TV now and enjoy it for a few days, or just hunker down and wait for the Big Bang?