Letters for July 24, 2008

The gang’s all here
Re “The Great TV Swindle & Keep that TV” (Feature story and News, July 10):

The truth of the matter is that Reno’s local TV stations have invested millions of dollars to continue to give the public a free digital source for television news, sports and entertainment. This free programming is very popular. More than 60,000 of your neighbors choose to watch free channels with antennas hooked up to their TV sets and VCRs.

Congress knows that there is value in the air waves used for broadcast TV and that it is their responsibility to get that revenue to give tax relief and help balance the federal budget. Congress also knows that it would not be wise to eliminate free TV as the public outcry would be huge.

To accomplish all that, they temporarily made available transition channels to TV stations so that the stations could begin free DTV service at their own expense while continuing good old free analog TV service so no one lost their programs. This gave viewers time to make the transition to DTV and freed up old TV channels which Congress has auctioned for billions of dollars as planned.

The DTV transition ends for Nevada at midnight Feb. 17, 2009. Now there are more than twice as many free program channels as before available in Reno through DTV for viewers to enjoy. These digital programs look better and sound better than ever. We think the legislators pretty much got it right with a big win for everyone.

As for the “Keep that TV” article, people who subscribe to cable or satellite don’t have to do a thing to continue watching their favorite broadcast TV shows. Those who watch with an antenna can get great results by keeping their current TV and using an off air converter box. That is the information being broadcast free by local TV stations. Information is also available on all of the local TV stations’ websites.

Thank goodness the government got it right this time, and the viewers have more free viewing choices with better pictures than ever before.

Lawson Fox, president & general manager KTVN; Mary Beth Farrell, general manager KRNV; Steve Cummings, general manager KRXI & KAME; Viola Cody, vice president & general manager Entravision; Frank Jonas, general manager KOLO; Bob Fisher, CEO Nevada Broadcasters Association

We think so
Re “The Great TV Swindle & Keep that TV” (Feature story and News, July 10):

Congratulations to Dennis Myers for another meticulously researched, well-written article that really got to the core of what is happening with HDTV and the broadcast lobby. I hope his important work was picked up by independent weeklies around the country. It’s refreshing to read his original and thoughtful writing each week.

Fred Hinners

The exception
Re “The Great TV Swindle & Keep that TV” (Feature story and News, July 10):

I want to clarify some misleading comments written in the two articles on the subject of digital television.

Dennis Myers, a former colleague here at KNPB, writes that “no one seems to be running public service announcements on how to avoid buying a new television.”

In fact, since February of this year KNPB has been informing viewers of the upcoming digital transition with a series of shorts titled Are You Ready For DTV?

The programs make very clear the fact that viewers do not need a new television, only a digital converter box and the series answers many of the questions people have about digital television. You can view the series at www.knpb.org.

Furthermore, KNPB is a national leader in educating the public on this subject.

Our series is seen across the country on public television stations, and commercial stations have asked us for permission to broadcast them as well.

KNPB dedicated the Feb. 17 episode of its monthly live program OpenLine to the DTV transition, taking viewer calls and answering questions for an hour. If you missed it, you can watch it now at www.knpb.org. KNPB has also produced an FAQ sheet on DTV which is available to all, and is offering converter boxes as thank you gifts for membership pledges, which encourages users to keep their existing televisions.

So, it seems someone is making an effort to explain how to keep your TV.

Dave Santina
production manager KNPB TV

Happiness is a warm board?
Re “Hard times” (Editorial, July 10):

As usual, I was pleased to find your editorial encouraging common sense solutions to hot topics, rather than the hysteria propagated by many news publications. Your suggestions to condense errands, hang clothes outside to dry, and open windows at night were insightful, if not intuitive. But a warning to “keep some protection at hand” for security? How about installing window locks? Or better yet, cut a board and put it on the top of the window so it won’t open more than 12 inches. Not only will this prevent burglars from coming in, but your kids can’t shoot their friends with boards.

Laura Nall