Television transmission

The switch to digital

By MARISHA VAN DIEST

As of Feb. 17, 2009, all television broadcasts will become entirely digital by order of the Federal Communications Commission. Televisions that rely on analog transmissions will be obsolete and require a converter box to remain useful. The U.S. Government has graciously promised us their willingness to accept requests from households for up to two $40 coupons towards the converter boxes.

I have many opinions on this issue. My main concern, however, is how many Americans are really going to want to spend the money on the converter boxes for all of the sets in their homes?

What will happen to all of the televisions that are no longer useful? This electronic waste has the potential to end up in our landfills and leach harmful materials such as lead and mercury. Have the government and state officials sent out the message that this is a harmful way of disposing these materials?

Technology is not always a bad thing. My argument is that the introduction of technology into our society needs to be handled responsibly and efficiently at all times.

Oh, and I also have a math question for you. How many converter boxes and/or televisions can be bought with one economic stimulus check per household?

Pardon my sarcasm.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Readers are welcome to sound off in this monthly feature, Foghorn. Send your personal essays, short stories or opinions to Editor Rebecca Pirtle at editorial@kingstoncommunitynews.com.)