The Sad State of Digital Television

Is it any surprise why so many people resort to downloading pirated content from the Internet, or why so many people are "cutting the cord" (aka, canceling cable service). Cable companies like Comcast are increasing rates almost twice a year while at the same time offering less and less service options.

The huge disappointment that is Digital Television in the United States is mostly a result of your local cable company or Hollywood executive. Everyone has at least one TV with a digital tuner in it, yet that tuner is 100% useless. The majority of TV watchers in this country will continue to rely on the analog tuner which will one day only receive a signal on one of two channels: 3 or 4.

Long gone are the days when you could purchase a "Cable TV" ready television, hook it up to your home, and receive cable channels without having to rent another set top box from the cable company. Remember those ads from your local cable company who said, "don't worry about the digital conversion, we got you covered". Yeah, boy oh boy where we every tricked.

Many people around the country have begun to notice there favorite analog cable TV channels slowly disappear from the lineup. The cable companies are quietly performing there version of the digital conversion, and this time, no one's got you covered. Pay up for a digital box or watch a black screen.

Yet, you may wonder why you need "digital equipment" on that brand new 50 inch LED HDTV with 5 digital tuners inside of it? Your 50 inch LED wall mounted television may never utilize those 5 digital tuners. Instead, you'll be hooking up a cable box to the analog inputs (or if your lucky enough, to an HDMI input). You'll never experience digital television the way it was meant to be because of.... GREED.

The digital tuners in today's digital cable ready TV's can't understand your cable company's digital signals because they are encrypted. Your local cable company would prefer that you pay for an additional set top box than allow your to retain the same freedom you had with analog cable. That is really all it comes down to, squeezing more monthly fees out of the subscribers. Throw in the DMCA's anti-circumvention clause, and poof, no more "descrambler" boxes that you could buy off the street (like analog cable).

Looks like for now we are stuck with two choices, pay up or cancel. Given recent headlines, it seems most people would rather cancel than pay up. Cord cutters are real, and the cable companies who say it's not true are either in denial, or ignorant.

By editor on 11 March 2012 |