Talk Talk Talk Talk Talk Myself to Death: Are You Watching TV?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Are You Watching TV?

The big switch from analog to digital TV happened today, and you were either ready for it or you weren't. A Nielsen poll suggested that 76,000 households in Chicago were unprepared to lose their analog signal. I've mentioned before that we hadn't sprung for cable here at Talk Talk Talk Talk Talk Central, but our hand was finally called, so, after waiting almost until we couldn't wait any longer, we had to put up or shut up. The cable guy came out on Tuesday, so we're now concluding our third full day of cable. I guess that means that we were among those 76,000 households unprepared when they survey was taken last week. That means there are now only 75,999 households out of luck.

Some of those people tried to take care of what they needed to this morning when the Dish Network sponsored a "swap" of government coupons for converter boxes. Too many people showed up, however (it was an estimated crowd of 500), so some went home empty handed. We'll see whether most of these TV-less people work out a way to receive the new digital signal or if we hear more about their plight. The media is probably not concerned about making those voices heard, but we may become aware of them through blogs or other unconventional methods.

If you're one of those people, though, WWME (23), which has received some local acclaim as ME-TV, has a signal that's at a low enough power that it doesn't have to give up its analog signal. The station has started to broadcast the WCIU (channel 26) signal, with breaks for news from WMAQ (5) and WGN (9). I just checked it out on our sole uncabled TV, and I not only found a signal there, but there was one at channel 48, ME-Too, as well, broadcasting the normal Me Too schedule. Is that an oversight that will be gone in the morning, or will ME-Too continue for the foreseeable future, as well? For the time being, at least, that gives analog TV viewers two choices.


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