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Our View: Get on with DTV switch

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opinion New Richmond, 54017
New Richmond Wisconsin 127 South Knowles Avenue 54017

The switch to digital television won't be happening on Tuesday.

After two years of warning consumers that DTV would occur on Feb. 17, 2009, Congress decided the country wasn't prepared enough for the big change.

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All we can say is -- you've got to be kidding.

The implementation of the digital shift was delayed until June 12. This extra time, apparently, will allow those who have procrastinated to catch up and not be left behind.

Never mind that relatively few Americans have to worry about the big change. Only those television viewers who rely on an old fashioned antenna have to be concerned and get ahold of a converter box. Less than 20 percent of television viewers don't have cable, satellite TV or some form of enhanced service.

Of those who rely on the analog signals for TV viewing, about 7 million to 9 million have yet to purchase the necessary converter boxes for the DTV switch.

Elected officials claim that's too many people who would lose their television signal on Feb. 17.

So what. There has been plenty of information about the need for converter boxes for many months. Anyone who watches television regularly has gotten an earful about the topic in the past year, unless they're in the kitchen getting a snack every time those commercials about the DTV conversion have aired.

Had the DTV switch occurred on Feb. 17, it would have only been a matter of days before the stragglers were up to speed. The greatest motivator for people to act is when their TV service is cut off.

Besides, who among us would be irreparably harmed by missing mindless TV viewing for a few days or week?

Maybe a few of us could use the motivation to pick up a book or newspaper and quietly read. Or maybe we could play a board game with family members or friends.

That's a real stimulus plan for the masses. Brain stimulus, that is.

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