Tuned out

Brenda—not her real name—lives on Humboldt Street in Reno. When she was supposed to get a box to adapt her television from analog to digital or buy a new television set, she didn’t. That means all her television channels are now dark.

“I just decided not to have television any more,” she said in the kind of comment designed to strike terror in the hearts of TV promotions people.

Jon, a Sparks resident, did get an adapter box. As a result, he now gets three channels—5, 11 and 11-2 (plus some Spanish language channels—he doesn’t speak Spanish).

“After the changeover, I found out they didn’t tell us something when they were telling us to get ready. When I was trying to bring in signals, I went online and read that digital signals are weaker than analog ones. I lost most of Reno television.” He says the box seems to be directional and each time he runs a new scan, he gets a different set of channels depending on the position of the box. He settled on three and lives with them.

These are problems only for people who live without cable, but one electronics store worker said that’s a lot of people, if the number of people complaining about their loss of local television is an indication. Actually to blame, of course, are not electronics stores but Congress, which ordered the digital changeover.

Brenda’s not one of the angry customers.

“I just watch videos on my television now,” she said.