Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Digital Television Conversion

Chris and I have always had to make choices in order for me to be able to stay-at-home.  While it would have been easier for us if he made gobs of money and I just stayed at home to take care of my kiddos - well, it rarely works that way for most people.  So we constantly evaluate things on a want/need basis.  And after reading a book while pregnant with Sophia we sometimes have had to look at things with the idea that "if this was the one thing preventing me from being able to stay-at-home, would it be worth it?" 

That being said, we haven't paid for cable in eight years.  It wasn't a necessity and we could always use our rabbit ears to catch the main local stations.  Then came the big digital television conversion.  It was supposed to be amazing.  The quality of the picture would improve, it would be everything we never knew we were missing.  I'm sure for most cable or satellite subscribers the transition has been wonderful.  But for those of us stretching out one income, the switch has not been so great. 

After buying special new digital rabbit ears and upgrading our main television we've noticed a few things: 

1.  We lost PBS.  No more free cartoons.  Yep, the government sponsored station's signal (which my tax dollars pay for) doesn't reach our house.  We are not in the boonies.  We live on the north side of Wichita - the biggest city in our state, less than 15 minutes from downtown.  But as representative from the station have told us, small things like houses and buildings can get in the way of the signal.  Houses?  Really?  Awesome signal you've got there. 

2.  Weather can affect the signal.  Yep, apparently clouds can get in the way too.  Not too comforting in tornado alley to lose a signal during bad weather. 

3.  But our most recent realization is probably the most absurd.  Geese get in the way too. 

Yep, birds.  We back up to a pond and geese love it this time of the year.  But as a flock of geese fly over our house, we momentarily lose our signal.  Seriously the TV freezes because birds fly over our house.

So far, I'm not impressed with the conversion.  We get fewer channels and they freeze up all the time.  Thank you US government for mandating the conversion.  So impressive.  No wonder we own so many DVDs. 


  1. Good to know that someone else doesn't have cable! We too use our rabbit ears & DTV... I was so disappointed when we moved here and there were no PBS stations. We had four in St. Louis!!! On the up side we don't watch nearly as much tv during the day. :) I saw on the KPTS website that if you get an outdoor antenna, it might help- because there is a tower is in Hutch.

  2. Our neighbors got an outdoor antenae and it helped a little, but they still don't get consistent PBS programmming. Giant bummer with preschoolers at home! If I had cable I'd be on the couch watching tv all day long -- all the DIY, home improvement channels...I'd never get up!