If you’ve watched more than a couple hours of television over the last year, you’ve probably seen them: ads, public service announcements, even thirty-minute infomercials heralding the impending doom of the DTV transition. Today the horror becomes reality, as thousands of Americans across the country too apathetic (all due credit to them), uninformed (head in the sand, much?), or poor (dirt poor — converter boxes cost only $40 with the federal coupon) to take part in the switch will watch their glowing television screens go black. For the lower earners among us, this could indeed be a big loss. Network news, PBS, and sitcoms may not represent the pinnacle of our culture and collective intelligence, but they come close enough considering they’re utterly free to anyone with a cheap TV set. We can only hope that those low-income families who rely on this free media took advantage of the four-month transition delay to pick up a converter. For the rest of us, the choice is clear: join the digital revolution or kill your TV. And thank God we’ve run out of time to decide; if I have to watch one more commercial about the DTV transition, I may just throw my TV out the window after all, new converter box included.
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