What's All The Fuss?
Moan Moan Moan Moan Moan
Come on people, I think a lot of you are missing the point and being intentionally obtrusive.
I can answer a number of questions/fears raised (scaremongered) here.
First, regards the signal strength and reception - have a look at the link to follow - you'll see that current output for digital is miniscule - as digital becomes de-facto it will become stronger:
I've seen comments about 'my portable tv wont work with freeview, blah blah blah' - If your TV can take an external aerial, you can plug a freeview box in between it and the aerial and tune your TV to it in much the same way you would a VCR.
Other comments about 'we'll all need new boxes again when it's freeview HD TV' are as crazy. There ARE other choices. I have Sky TV and there are HD channels available. I can't view them but haven't been forced to buy a new TV - I choose to not view them!
That brings me on to the next thing - the 'it's only £17 a month for Sky/Virgin' crowd. YES, but some people would prefer to NOT have to pay for their TV an a monthly paid subscription - that's the beatuty of FREEview.
I mean, come one people. This is a very disappointing read. I thought subscribers to the Register embrace the benefits of improved technology - not mither about it and comment about how 'back in the old days of black and white TV and 3 channels things were much better'. The government isn't forcing you to not watch TV but is leveraging the power of new technologies. A one off fee of £15 for a set top box is well within most peoples grasp - and for those that it isn't prices will no doubt continue to fall and I believe there are subsidies for certain groups in any case.
If you have an old TV that is unable to accept a freeview box being plugged in, then it's probably a fair few years old and obsolete - and is probably not unreasonable to expect such a small minority of people to have to change to benefit the majority. One of the things I hate about the UK is the constant wrapping up in cotton wool of the minorities that prevent progress to benefit the majorities. In this instance, the government have got it right - hell, they even give us 5 years to ready ourselves - and then what do people do - moan that other countries are already there. You can't have it both way people................