Hello, I'm Firespirit and I can't go to the bathroom without the government holding my hand.

Firespirit (1000+ posts) Sun Aug-03-08 05:16 PM
Original message
Last night there was a severe thunderstorm. The Digital TV signal went out entirely.
A severe thunderstorm producing pretty much everything except tornadoes passed through my area last night rather unexpectedly. We just pick up the free signals, no $100 cable or satellite bill for financial reasons, and this was the first major storm to come through since we installed those converter boxes.

The electricity never went out during the storm, somehow. However the digital signal, on all channels (we're able to pick up 10-12) went out. With analog it would have been fuzzy, but you at least would have been able to see and hear if, for example, they announced a tornado warning. With the digital transmission, there was nothing. Evidently this is how the technology works; you get a perfect picture or a black screen.

I could disconnect the digital box and pick up the analog signal last night to find out if, you know, it was OK to walk around in the house, or if I needed to get to the tornado shelter spot. Next spring, next tornado season, when TV goes fully digital, no one will have that luxury. Looks like you'll have to pay to get public safety information, and if you can't, then when your area is being hit by a storm and it decides to drop a funnel when the poor man's DTV signal is out, you're SOL.

As far as I am concerned, it is a public hazard. No matter how nice the picture, or how many bells and whistles DTV may have when it works, if it makes it harder to broadcast public warnings to EVERYONE with TV -- not just those who can afford cable -- it is a downgrade.

Is there any way to get the FCC to mandate more robust DTV signals be used?
And when the electricity goes out, is there any way to force the government to make my tv work? Cause how will I know if the tornado is coming? It's obvious Booosh wants me dead!

2KS2KHonda (126 posts) Sun Aug-03-08 05:18 PM
Response to Original message
1. Just get a decent antenna.
Edited on Sun Aug-03-08 05:20 PM by 2KS2KHonda
It ain't rocket science.
edit: The better converter boxes have analog passthrough.
Firespirit (1000+ posts) Sun Aug-03-08 05:27 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. It's a $60 antenna, and I guess you missed the part about no spare cash just lying around.
There's this thing on called a downturn, and it's actually affecting many people's wallets.

Your deep, abiding concern is noted, however.

Also, analog pass-through won't help when all TV broadcasting goes digital, next year, right before tornado season. Last night wasn't a huge deal. Next year is a very serious concern for me.
SmileyRose (296 posts) Sun Aug-03-08 07:02 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. I've seen battery powered ones at Best Buy for about $10.
The hand crank kind at Sports Authority in the camping department run about $20. I realize that is a lot of money for some people but if you have managed to afford to switch to DTV before there is an actual need to do so then you might be able to eventually come up with the $10 or $20 to keep your family alive.
Retrograde (955 posts) Sun Aug-03-08 05:32 PM
Response to Original message
5. What would you do if the power were out?
Do you have satellite or cable? Or are you referring to broadcast? If you have satellite, then the dish has to be able to see the signal: I've found that heavy rainstorms sometimes interfere with reception for the same reason that I can't see across the street in those conditions.

If you're worried about emergency updates radio is a better source than TV. There's a reason emergency preparedness guidelines tell you to include a battery powered radio rather than a TV.
Don't you know in this terrible Booosh economy no one can afford batteries or a radio. It's all a plot by Boosh to kill Midwesterners because....well, I just don't know why. But it's all Booosh's fault. <duer head explosion>