I’m incensed, and I don’t mind saying it here on my blog. I came home from a busy day yesterday to find a flier taped to my door handle that started out with the following:
The Feds are mandating everyone broadcast in digital in just a few short months! DirecTV is 100% digital now. If you don’t upgrade, all you will see is snow!”
Mine was the wrong door to put this flier on because I am very familiar with the transition to Digital TV and have even written about who needs a digital TV converter box.
And, to be blunt, their flier is at best remarkably deceptive and at worst? An outright lie.
It is true that we are transitioning to an all-digital broadcast system in early 2009 (with some exceptions for smaller, local, public service and rural channels) but no-one needs to “upgrade”, which implies the outlay of a significant amount of money. Indeed, after rebates, most people with older TVs should be able to pick up a digital converter box from Circuit City, Best Buy or similar for about $40 one-time cost.
Most TVs don’t need these boxes, though. To quote the gov’t:
“If you have a digital television (a TV with a built-in digital tuner), you are already prepared for the DTV transition, and can enjoy the benefits of digital broadcasting today…. if you use a digital-to-analog converter box, you will still need to use an antenna to receive DTV signals. It is also important to know that if your television currently receives good quality reception on analog channels 2-51 with a broadcast antenna, it should be able to receive digital television signals, including high definition television (HDTV) signals, with the same broadcast antenna. You do not need to purchase a ‘DTV antenna’ or an ‘HDTV antenna’ to receive DTV or HDTV signals.”
Let me reiterate those important points: even if you’re using a terrestrial antenna for your TV, if you’re hooked up to a TV with a built-in tuner, you’re good to go. Even if not, you don’t need any sort of cable or satellite service to be able to receive the new all-digital programming, even HDTV programming.
Certainly nothing explained in the flier I had taped to my door yesterday by a local DirecTV affiliate.
So what’s the story, DirecTV? Looks to me like an affiliate of yours is really pushing the envelope, selling fear and misinformation. Is this a good, ethical way to drive business?
I don’t think so.