On Friday, the United States will switch over to a 100 percent digital signal. Analog televisions that do not receive digital signals will require either converters or connections to cable/satellite service to continue working. Without a converter or cable/satellite connection, an analog tv with rabbit-ear antennae will display snow.
This deadline has sent the one-fifth of Americans who depend on over-the-air signals, and who have not bought new digital tv's, scrambling for means to watch tv. They are buying converters, with help from the federal government. (Another wasteful government program.) They are buying new televisions. (Yes, I did.) And they are calling their cable or satellite providers to reconnect or connect for the first time.
Where is the no-tv contingent?
This is the best opportunity in decades to convince people to give up their televisions. "You can watch your shows online." "For entertainment programming, you can wait for the DVD releases." "Do you really need tv?" All credible arguments. The more traditional orthodox movement of Judaism--black-hat, haredi--attempts to persuade or mandates its newest members to give up television. Why at this time is there no noticeable push within the frum community for tv owners to give them up?
There could be incentives. mp3 or iPod giveaways. Contests for iTouch units. Perhaps the frum community is too preoccupied with the economy and job loss, which is completely understandable.