Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Digital Conversion From Hell

Hello – my name is Mojopo and my own mother has been left TV-less since the digital conversion last Friday. Yes, we were aware of the switch a year ago (or more), and we all made sure Mom got a coupon for a converter box. She even has leftover coupons, but that’s not the point. The point is that Mom had a converter box well in advance and my nephew hooked it up. We had this crazy idea everything would work out eventually. FAIL.
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My mother is only receiving Channel 23 out of Buffalo, which she tells me is chock full of garbage. They don’t have Regis and Kelly or her favorite weatherman, but they have lots of Tyra Banks. Oh, this is sad. She lost her husband of 59 years in March and now this.

Forget selling her on cable. While cable subscribers can receive a signal without a converter box, the only thing Mom remembers about cable TV is that the owner of Adelphia went to jail for ripping people off. Mom will not support the potential for criminal activity in her own home. Period. No cable. Ever.

“Hey Mom,” I said, “how about we all chip in and get you a new TV that can receive a digital signal?” She will not have it. “My TV is only 3 years old and it was on the ‘approved’ list. I don’t need a new TV!” When I pointed out that her TV is only enabling Tyra, she suggested that I come to visit and push her TV to the curb with the trash. “Might as well,” she said. So forlorn. “My antenna is fine, too. I hate this government.”

I’m going to spend some time talking to her local Radio Shack, to make sure everything is connected and programmed properly. This should be excruciating, since I will be inquiring from Chicago and not at my Mom’s house, or anywhere near her TV. If I don’t get this figured out, there is a potential for Mom to turn on the radio and hear Rush Limbaugh. I am terrified.

If anyone reading this blog has tips, suggestions and advice please tell me what to do about the converter box. I am actually begging. Others are encouraged to pray for us. If you will not pray, you are a part of the problem. Thank you and Amen.

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Anonymous said...

Your nephew could bring her a converter box. Either the one he took or a new, I don't think she will notice the difference.

PS Today we're having beer garden weather, finally! =)


Mojopo said...

LV, the beer garden down the street opened recently. It's a crying shame that I don't drink beer because it gives me headaches. On the other hand, the pain of beer might override the ache caused by that damn converter box.

I do want to get a new box, and that is one of my projects. You're right on. It's my Step 2.

anony tu said...

No television. T.V. bad. Internetz good. Tell Mom.

anony tu said...

If THIS does not sell Mom on scrapping the t.v. for the Internetz, nothing will.

Oh, and Matlock! All episodes. Really.

Speedy said...

Can you get the make/model # from your Mom? We could look up the owners manual online. I'm going to do some research online also. Jeez, to deny an old lady TV is just criminal!!!!

Speedy said...

I found a web site Mojo. Try this.
Q: I have a converter box, but I’m not getting any television reception or have lost some channels I was receiving before. What happened?
Try re-scanning your converter box. Some television stations switched channels since you first scanned, and you should re-scan your converter box to make sure you’re getting all the digital TV signals out there. You may also need to adjust your antenna or even get a new antenna (see answer below).

Speedy said...

Here's the web site. Good luck!!!

Speedy said...

Typos!!! Here's another web site from the goverment.

Maybe you can get someone to come to her house and check it out. I wasn't sure of her zip code so...

maureen said...

Poor Mom!!! Speedy has the best idea. The other is to have the nephew go over and figure the problem out. He's a smart kid in the robot program if I'm correct. You can also let Mom know that Adelphia no longer exists, Ted Turner of Time Warner would now supply cable service. Good luck!!

Mojopo said...

OK, great info Speedy. I just called the FCC hotline and get this - my Mom's area is only receiving 2 stations at this time! Two! I asked when they will get more and they just don't know.

This is so wrong.

Mojopo said...

Also, the FCC said to wait 15 minutes between rescans, to let the box thinks things over.

anony tu said...

I forgot to mention you can do the chicken dance at your beer garden, LV and Mojo.

Well, I guess I don't have much to contribute to this television dilemma. I was going to contribute this,

but I'm not sure why. It has to do with the lady who busts a move about half way. It's white peoples in polo shirts! Busting moves. I thought Mom might want to learn to bust a move. Most of the white peoples are not busting moves however. Mostly not. Whatever. Silly white peoples in polo shirts.

anony tu said...

O---M---G!!!!! Mojo!

See, this is why television is evil! Here you are all bogged down trying to get your Mom's t.v. fixed and Sam Seder scooped you!!! Did you see? Go! Go, now! It's on Crooks and Liars! The Palinites have declared a War on Jokes!!!!!!!!!

Be quick, there's still time to get a piece of this!

an.tu said...

Here's the video:

anony tu said...


a.t. said...

So much news. so little time.

Minnie-sota said...

Man, what a pain in the ass, Mojo. I need to call my parents to see if my Dad figured out the converter box for his TV. They have cable in the living room but Dad has a TV in his room without cable.

I own a converter box. Decided to get one just in case...

Mojopo said...

Mins - I called the FCC. Speedy sent me the number. Turns out that people in Mom's area are only able to receive 2 channels. I asked them when they would have the rest available, they said they don't know. They don't know? WTF.

Anony, there's just no way Mom will ever get a computer. Good suggestion, though!

PapaPig said...

Mojo, you happen to know one of the leading people understanding the Digital Transition on your blog.

I could be more humble which I normally am but I found out being humble about technical issues leaves doubts in people's minds if you are what you say.

If you mom is in Buffalo someone needs to be there to help her through my directions.

Anyway, if you want help log into

Set up an account. Look for the same pig by posting your reception problems here.

Anyone else here is welcome also. Mention you are from here.

We will either get it straight or tell you straight if you are screwed like many have found themselves.

But if you mom lives in town, then it's just a matter of the correct set up.

Of you can have someone where she lives log in for you and tell they are there from Mojopost.