[mythtv-users] US Gov gives $80 credit towards purchase of HD equipment??

CHRIS KOTTING ckotting at wideopenwest.com
Mon Mar 19 17:06:12 UTC 2007

A lot of the push here is for public safety reasons.  Not just the set-top 
box program, but the transition to digital broadcast itself.  A big chunk 
the spectrum that is being freed up is being dedicated to establishing 
wireless broadband for public safety and first responder communications.

On the set-top box issue, this isn't new.  The reason US TVs use NTSC color 
(rather than better designs that existed at the time) was than existing B&W 
sets would still work with an NTSC color signal.

As for why the credit can't be used towards a digital-capable set, 
the "target market" for the set-top box credits is those who wouldn't be 
able to afford a new set.  The reason that they are being offered to 
everyone is that it is expected to be less expensive (both in $ and 
political terms) to do that than to set up a system to identify and enforce 
who is too destitute to buy a new set.  

Not allowing the credits to be used to reduce the cost of a digital set is a 
way to have some "self policing" in place (if you want a digital set and can 
afford it, go get one), as is the limitation that one set-top box only gets 
one credit applied to it (there are two $40 credits per household, you're 
expected to use them to get 2 $40 - $50 boxes, instead of combining them 
into one %80 box for free).

Chris K.
On Mon, 19 Mar 2007 10:00:07 -0600, Brian Wood wrote
> On Mar 19, 2007, at 9:47 AM, Peter A. Daly wrote:
> > The government is, by implication, calling a TV a "necessity" and not
> > a luxury. Not long ago a telephone was a "luxury" and we now have
> > programs to aid the poor in obtaining this "necessity of life", at
> > least for emergency purposes.
> >
> > I disagree.  What they are saying is people should be able to fully  
> > expect the TV's they currently own to work as is until they  
> > physically fail.  That was the expectation when they were  
> > purchased.  I've watched some of the CSPAN hearing on this, and  
> > that is the rational.
> >
> > If the government implements something to cause TV's to fail  
> > prematurely for whatever reason, they feel (and rightly so) they  
> > have an obligation to "fix" the sets they cause to break before  
> > their normal end of life.
> >
> > My understanding is they want this spectrum back for a number of  
> > reasons, only some of which related to TV.  Either way, the real  
> > issue of the credit relates to the breaking of current sets that  
> > are not yet at end of life, and the owners who expect them to  
> > continue to work.
> >
> Then why not allow the credit to be used towards the purchase of a  
> digital-capable set?
> Many states have laws which now require the replacement of  
> automobiles which would otherwise  be quite capable of continuing in 
>  life, not directly perhaps but NJ, for example, has stated publicly 
>  they they want to get any car over 10 years old off the road.
> Laws in NYC have "broken" fireplaces which once worked but are now  
> illegal to operate.
> Cellular carriers have rendered analog phones that once cost many 
> $$$  useless even though they still operate as designed.
> Record companies have made expensive turntables into costly lazy-susans.
> Microsoft makes perfectly serviceable computers unusable to most  
> consumers.
> Nothing runs forever.
> But I do see your point, and it is well taken.
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