Below is a video I picked up from engadget.com in a post titled Canesta gesture controlled TV frees us from the tyranny of the remote. I’ve talked in the past about Gesture Computing seen to an extent with the iPhone and in large part with Surface Computing. Now we see a use where the television is controlled through gestures. Looks very easy and solves the problem of the lost remote. I wonder what would happen if multiple people are gesturing at the same time??
They’ve done it! Congress has delayed the switch to digital television from February 17 to June 12. Ready or Not: DTV Bill Accommodates I’m not a big fan of this move due to the amount of money and effort expended to publicize the February 17 date and all of the extra costs to local stations to keep both the analog and digital signals available. I think delay will cause even more confusion, but our esteemed lawmakers in D.C. are feeling the heat from their constituents confused about the whole change and unable to get coupons for the converter boxes, so I suppose they have to do what they have to do.
How long have they had to prepare for this? This delay was caused by procrastination and lack of attention by the FCC and Congress. So, they are calling June 12 the “final hard date” for transition. Yeah, right!
In an article from CNET titled Senators still sweating digital TV switch, the politicians are now voicing their concerns about how to get the message out about the February 17, 2009 conversion from analog to digital TV. For those who don’t follow this discussion, for some time television stations around the country have been running digital and analog broadcasts in parallel and next February 17, the analog signals will be discontinued. What does this mean? If you have an analog television and you either use an antenna or you don’t have it connected to a cable box or satellite box, then you will not be able to get a picture starting February 17, 2009. The cable boxes and satellite boxes do the conversion for you and your old tv should still work.
Even with the best implementation of this, it is very difficult to get the word out to everyone and even more difficult to help people know what to do. Most people don’t have any idea if they have a digital tv or an analog tv. Many don’t have a clue about the difference between digital and analog. How many have a 2nd and 3rd tv set in their bedrooms that are either using rabbit ears or connected directly to the cable without a converter box? The problem as it can currently be understood will affect over 20 million households.
Our Congressmen and Senators in Washington and in reality, all of the elected officials around the country need to understand this challenge and use whatever means they have to insure the smoothest transition. At a local level, we’re planning to use our website, newsletter and other communication means, well in advance to help our citizens prepare for the change.
In the U.S., people have their televisions turned on an average of 7.1 hours per day. TVs going blank would be similar to turning electricity off to nearly 1/5th of the homes in our country. Yes, the Senators should be concerned and the challenge of this transition is huge!