Digital Television Transition: 365 days to go

A year from tomorrow, February 18, 2009, the traditional, analog broadcast television signals across the U.S.A. will be turned off. (See: Digital Television Transition).

If you’re like me and rely on over-the-air television signals, you will need to invest in a digital-to-analog converter box, or a nifty new television built to receive digital broadcast signals, or subscribe to cable/satellite television.

The estimated price of the digital to analog converter box is $75. The federal government is providing $40 coupons towards your purchase. Request a coupon: According to the coupon request form, TV converter boxes are not expected to be available in retail stores until late February or early March. You should sign up now before they are gone (limited supply); however you will not receive your coupon until after converter boxes are available in stores. The Coupon will expire 90 days after the date it is issued.

The federal department responsible for the program has a web site that provides more information regarding the coupon program, such as rules and the coupon request form.

New trend: parents more active in regulating children’s media consumption |

The Christian Science Monitor reported on a Census Bureau report issued on Wednesday. It appears parents are more active in regulating their children’s media consumption.

US kids get new trend: more active parents |

Among other things, parents are reading more to their children and placing more restrictions on their television viewing than they did 10 years earlier. Nine percent more children are taking classes outside school, and 5 percent fewer 12- to 17-year-olds had to repeat a grade.”It appears parents are more involved with their kids than they were 10 years ago,” says Jane Dye, a family demographer with the US Census Bureau who helped compile the data, which was based on the 2004 Survey of Income and Program Participation.

The news may seem startling to those accustomed to headlines about kids glued to the TV, but experts say the Census data confirm a trend of more protective, involved parenting that has been going on for some time.

If so, I’m glad to see this happening. When I (eventually) have children, I intend to keep them away from the TV and computer as much as possible. That includes video games. On the menu are grass, legos, coloring books, and worms (think, fishing;). I know, I know, it is hard to make this commitment so far out in the future when I haven’t had to deal with a child, dinner, and homework all at the same time. But I mean it. It will be difficult, but I think my wife and I can work things out with a little team work.