I turned on the radio this morning (my radio doesn't even know there are stations besides NPR, so I'll give you three guesses as to what I was listening to), and Steve Inskeep was reporting on some rural areas that are struggling with the upcoming conversion to digital television (don't get me started on why it's suddenly the federal government's responsibility to make sure all Americans aren't without network television -- no couch potato left behind?). I chuckled as I considered my own situation, even in highly urbanized Seattle....
As soon as he received the coupon for the digital converter box, Eric rushed right out to get us all set up, so we've been dealing with the digital signal since early last fall, and suffice it to say: I hate it. Eric argues that the picture is clearer, which is true, but what difference does that make, if the audio sig....ets..ll...sp...ty..d..gra....... and then the image freezes or gets all pixely (sometimes with disturbing effects), and often enough, drops off all together ("no signal!" a little blue box cheerfully tells us). And it gets worse in inclement weather, when I would normally tune into the local news for the .....weather report. I dislike the whole situation so much that I have stopped watching television altogether*. The big black box in the living room has become my own personal movie theater.... or rather it was, until the DVD player inexplicably died last week.
I'm actually quite glad about the whole thing: I've been trying (not very hard, I admit) to kick the TV habit for years, and now, through it's own (misguided, ill-conceived, much-touted) effort to improve itself, I have finally been converted. So I'll thank the federal government after all, and declare.... long live radio!
*weather reports now consist of me looking out of all of the windows of my house, taking an average and making an educated guess as to what's coming next. take that, megadoppler2000!