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Wednesday, December 12 , 2018, 11:49 am | Partly Cloudy 62º


She Said, Z Said: Going Digital

How do you say "the deadline to switch your TV has been delayed" in Amharic?

Z: Have you been following the biggest news story of the century?

She: Obama?

Z: Don’t be ridiculous. If you were on a desert island, you might have missed that. I’m talking about the news story for which you would have gotten a message in a bottle.

She: What?

Z: TV is going digital! Are you ready for the digital TV transition?

She: I don’t think I’ve ever been so informed of anything in my life. I didn’t get this many reminders for my wedding day.

Z: There were newspaper articles, TV news shows, endless cable ads saying not to worry about it, and ads on TV, radio, newspapers and the Internet.

She: The freakiest ones were the Amber Alert crawls on the top of the TV. I kept thinking there was a fire, a flood, or a kidnapped kid, but they were just letting me know that digital TV was coming.

Z: This morning when I finished my cereal, the bottom of my cereal bowl revealed a secret, “Digital TV is coming!” announcement.

She: The FCC sent me a singing telegram, making sure I knew digital TV was coming.

Z: I went to www.dtv.gov, because I didn’t feel informed enough about this enormous change that’s happening in my life. Apparently, I’m not the only one. They have FAQs translated into 21 languages, including Navajo, Yupic and Amharic.

She: I’ve never heard of Amharic.

Z: Me neither. But at least the Amharicanians will be well informed about digital TV.

She: Correct me if I’m wrong: didn’t they just take the drop-dead date for all the stations to start broadcasting in digital, the one that’s been planned and advertised for the last decade, and move it back four months?

Z: Yep. So, some stations will start broadcasting in digital, and some still in analog for a few months. Now the most important event in my life is very confusing.

She: And the worst part is that I only saw one news story about the delay. No Amber Alert crawls, no text messages, no freeway signs, nada.

Z: Even the FCC’s FAQ in English, not to mention Yupic, still says: Q: Will the Feb. 17 date for the end of full-power analog television broadcasting be pushed back? A: Federal law mandates that Feb. 17 is the last day of full-power analog television broadcasting.

She: All those Yups are going to be very confused.

Z: It makes me want to cry that this incredibly important day is now forever sullied in our memories.

She: I wonder if they have to translate the change into all 21 languages?

Z: I hope the Tagalog guy isn’t on vacation.

She: How do you think our holier-than-thou friends who refuse to watch TV are handling this change?

Z: I think they’re feeling very left out.

She: They’re probably feeling so left out that they don’t even know enough to feel left out.

Z: They still read newspapers and eat cereal. I’m guessing they’ve heard, and they’re heartbroken that they’re not a part of the event of the millennium.

She: It’s OK — I have them covered. They all have me taping stuff for them whenever the Super Bowl or the Academy Awards or their friends, relatives and pets are on TV.

Z: So they don’t want to pay for digital cable, they just want to have their own personal DVR.

She: Which is a great idea. I’m going to do that, too. Then I’m going to buy a billboard and tell everybody that’s what I’m going to do in December 2011.

Z: Yes, dear.

Send your TV viewing requests to She and Z at [email protected]

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