Thursday, May 12, 2011

Problems with Set Top Boxes for Pensioners

I talked on radio 2CC in Canberra at 7:20am this morning about issues with the "Household Assistance Scheme" to issue digital TV set top boxes to pensioners. There is enough money for about $350 per pensioner, which is far more than the $50 or so a box costs. The remainder is for installation.

Kogan has suggested the government could buy new TVs instead. These would give a better picture and use less power. But the TVs would cost more than set top boxes and not leave much for installation or a new antenna.

Master Electricians Australia has warned there may be unqualified technicians risking their own lives and those of the pensioners. This is a reasonable fear, after problems with previous insulation schemes. Those installing antennas should have a done a TAFE Course in Antenna Installation.

Also we discussed what might be worth watching on digital TV. I pointed out that the audience, and therefore the advertising revenue, has not increased with the number of TV channels and so the quality may drop. One solution is to install a Personal Video Recorder (PVR) which selects shows for you. Another, which I forgot to mention, is that the best thing on TV is Internet TV, which is not TV at all.

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