HDTV … a sore subject

Yesterday I posted about a caller to a local talk show talking about HDTV conversion.
You have responded… some in the comments section, but many of you have made the choice to email me directly.. thanks, I really appreciate it as it is a great discussion.
I am going to share one of those emails with you, but first let me give you my take on this whole HDTV situation.
I own a HDTV, but really don’t have a dog in the fight. I couldn’t really care any less about the issue. Your local TV stations say that it is the government that is forcing the issue. You all know that the air waves of TV are owned by the government (READ… US). The broadcast networks are pushing this issue because of the money. It is too expensive to broadcast in both analog and digital. So it comes down to technology and the dollar. That is all.

So here is the email I promised you. Like I said, I appreciate it… keep them coming.

I’m perplexed also so I’ll put it in scouting terms. Let’s say that BSA decides that as of the 100 anniversary of scouting in America, the old uniform can no longer be worn. After all, the new style uniforms are made of better material and a better design. Everyone would benefit from wearing the new uniform. After all, a full uniform is only what $50, $60, $70?
If you don’t like it, you don’t have to be in scouts any longer. No one will force you to spend the money, you just can’t participate.
The point is that the switch to digital TV is a mandate, not a choice. Instead of broadcasting in both analog and digital and slowly switching over over a number of years, there is a hard cut over. TV Stations in Houston TX only started broadcasting in digital about a year ago.
What is the life of a TV 10, 15 years?
How many TV’s are ending up in the land fill?
I don’t agree with your post (or the switch to digital).

So was my response to this reader:

It’s your right to disagree…
2 things.
First… no where in any BSA rules, policies, or regulations is a uniform REQUIRED. It is a method, but NO Scout is denied access to Scouting due to lack of uniform.
Second…Try to buy an 8 track tape? Did you know that the last manufacture of VHS tapes left the factory 2 days ago.. there will be no more… Switch to DVD or you get nothing.
Mandate.. yes.. it is too expensive for broadcast networks to have both analog and HD… so we switch because they switch…or you don’t watch TV. Our government has “Given you an opportunity” with the coupons for the box, if you fail to take advantage of it… that’s your CHOICE.
Thanks for the comment, but it will still come down to a choice… You don’t have to have TV to live, in fact you could probably do well without it. You don’t have to have a uniform to be a Scout.
So it’s all about choices. Cost of a uniform is no excuse… my son purchased his NEW Centennial uniform from money in HIS Scout account which he earned by collecting cans, shoveling snow, mowing lawns, and baby sitting. A Scout is Thrifty. He has made choices to pay his way (with the help of mom and dad).
The point of the post is that excuses and complaining get you no where. You make a choice to take action either way.
Agree or disagree, it is you that will decide what you are going to do about it.
Thanks again.

Have a Great Scouting Day!


  1. Thank you, Jerry…As usual, you put it into perspective…As for those who want to complain about “The Man” forcing his way…Take that energy and refocus it on something positive, not worrying about being able to watch TV. It’s a choice…eating, breathing…not choices. Don’t do them, you die. I never read or heard about someone dying from no TV.And for the last rant…I have a new TV, I also have a converter box for another one…so I will enjoy my upgraded signal, but I also know when to turn it off and read a book, or blog…Pass the popcorn, Jerry…


  2. One more comment, as I work in television for the past 20 years. The switch to Digital TV and High Def TV are two different things and both are VERY expensive on the local TV stations. In fact many local stations with make the Digital switch in Feb and still not be High Def. This is definiately NOT a local station push for technology. At my station we have zero purchasing budget this year and still have tons of High Def equipment to purchase. It will be a long time (read YEARS) until 100% of TV stations are 100% High Definition.


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