Friday, May 22, 2009

Digital TV Conversion Not Easy for the Elderly

Technology may be second-nature to many people, but for older people (>65), it is a challenge.

I spent a few days this past weekend with my dad in northern Arizona. We were talking about the transition from analogue TV to digital. He does not have cable or satellite TV, just over the air with an outside antenna. He said he was not going to worry about it; says he probably watches too much TV any way and this will be a good excuse to watch less (just VHS and DVD movies now, he says).

His friends have bought the converters but have had problems installing them. He did not want to bother with buying one and installing it. Thought it would be a waste of money as the unit would not actually be installed. He has heard about the $40 coupon federal government option but going on-line and ordering it is not something he wanted to do. The toll-free number option was not much more appealing to him.

We went into his nearest town and stopped at the local Radio Shack. They were helpful, showing him his convert box options and their prices ($60 average). He is now thinking he will get one, with the $40 coupon. They gave him the web site and toll free number but it will not be on the top of his list of things to do. I order him his coupon online and he'll get it in about ten days. (Interesting, the site makes you enter an actual street address -- something he does not have. A P.O. number is not good enough. So I made one up and it was accepted.)

He'll probably buy the box sometime after the 12 June switch-over, when his picture disappears. He'll probably have to ask a "technically savvy" ward member to help him connect the unit up.

Something that seems simple to some of us is not simple to those who grew up in a different era.

Love you dad.

1 comment:

Rachel Hauck said...

Hey, I love him, too! Think that when he was in high school, they didn't even have a TV.

Dad was in school, your dad in Korea, when Grandpa bought a television!