Sacramento County (that’s in California), is telling folks some really misleading information about the Digital TV transition.
The DTV transition is confusing for many already. Some think they need to buy a new TV, when really all they need is a converter box. Others think that they need to buy a brand new HDTV. And, unfortunately, a new ad from the county’s management is misleading people towards that conclusion.
The ad, which is for the California Electronic Assist Recovery program, portrays a television set suddenly failing during a football game. The people, confused, walk into another room, where a mother explains (while chewing food) that they “needed a new TV before the DTV transition, February 17, 2009. So I bought this new TV and recycled the old one”. A brand new television is playing in the room.
Of course, you don’t need a new TV for the DTV transition, you just need a converter box. The county of Sacramento is (I believe mistakenly) convincing many consumers that they need to recycle their old TV before the DTV transition, in essence, junking it for a new one. Worse, the advertisement gives some correct information about the DTV transition, such as the date it will take place. Half-truths are the most misleading.
How can you help? Call the county at 916-875-5555 (that’s their customer service number, in the ad itself), and tell them that their ad is misleading, and incorrect in its facts. Tell them that they should remove the ad, or at the least ad a statement about the DTV transition, how a converter box is all that is needed for the transition, and that you do not need to purchase a new television for the transition.
I’ll be calling tomorrow, I hope everyone (even if you do not live in California), starts doing so as well.
Now, the ads are well-intended (at least, I hope they were). Of course, they will artificially inflate the usage of the program, should everyone start junking recycling perfectly good TV sets. A very cynical person would probably argue that the ads did this on purpose, to artificially boost the stats of the recycling program, by having people recycle working sets ahead of the transition.