Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Don't delay DTV switch

The US Senate approved a measure yesterday to delay the switch to DTV by 4 months. (see here) The US House must now pass the measure for the delay to actually happen. I am very much against delaying the switch for a couple of reasons.

First, I believe that the majority of those who will not be ready for the switch on February 17th will still not be ready for the switch in June. It's not like there hasn't been plenty of time to get ready for the switch. There has also been several ad campaigns to let people know about the switch. In the interest of full disclosure, I subscribe to cable TV, so the removal of the analog signal will not affect me.

The other thing that I have a problem with is the fact that a converter box retails for between $50 and $70. The converter box has a circuit board in it. It contains no moving parts (except for a small fan in some models). A DVD player on the other hand contains a circuit board as well as the DVD drive itself. One would think based on this that a DVD player would be more expensive than a converter box, however, a DVD player can be had for less than $30. Why the discrepancy? I believe it's because of the government coupons (subsidy). If there weren't any government coupons, I believe that these converter boxes would retail for less than $20. Let the coupon program go away so that we will know the true price of the converter boxes. Remember that selling price is based on supply and demand. I doubt there is any demand for a converter box at the full retail price of $50.

1 comment:

Jesse Harris said...

The biggest problem with the last-minute delay is that it won't do anything. Stations still have the right to switch early and most of them already budgeted to shut down the analog signals on February 17. With the sharp decline in ad revenue, there aren't going to be a lot of stations opting to extend their analog transmissions to the new deadline. The entire thing is a PR stunt.