EPS (justeps) wrote,

Where's our bailout?

Well, the "big news" is that the converter box coupon program ran out of money ... a little earlier than expected. And those of you who waited until January because of the 90-day expiration got a nasty surprise. Of course, the "early adopters" got shafted since the first CECBs on the market, for lack of a better word, sucked. Some of the later products were introduced with buggy firmware that wasn't field-upgradable. If you bought the "wrong" box, you had few (if any) options to exchange it without losing the value of your coupon. Reputable reviews (e.g. CNET, Consumer Reports) never materialized for most of the boxes on the market. And there was always something better just around the corner. So waiting made a lot of sense. It's probably going to fall on Congress to "fix" this ... good luck with that.

Since I last wrote about the disenfranchised, the feds relented somewhat on nursing homes. They can't apply through the normal means, and are limited to one coupon per person (as opposed to the two the rest of us can claim). This still leaves a lot of people living in "nontraditional housing" out in the cold.

On January 15, Hawaiians become the next sheep to the slaughter. Hopefully things will go a little better for them than they did for the residents of Wilmington, NC. If not, President-elect Obama's call to delay the Transition for the rest of us might actually gain some serious traction.

My CECB recommendations remain unchanged for now, since the possible challengers to the Channel Master CM-7000 still haven't materialized:

  • Carefree CB8899: S-Video + Smart Antenna I/F + APT
  • SUMC LSA-801L: S-Video + Smart Antenna I/F + APT
  • TRT TACB-2009: S-Video + Smart Antenna I/F + 14-day EPG

...and the MaxMedia LuTRO hasn't been reviewed (as a competitor to the DTVPal Plus).

Tags: dtv

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