Former House Energy & Commerce Committee chairman John Dingell (D-Mich.) looked to shock constituents into making the digital switch Thursday, one day before the plug is pulled on analog.
In a constituent e-mail, Dingell warned that the seventh game of the Detroit Red Wings-Pittsburgh Penguins Stanley Cup Final could be iced by the digital transition. And while legislators have been concerned about calls flooding their offices June 12, Dingell actually solicited them.
"Tomorrow night, the Red Wings will try to make history playing for another Stanley Cup," he wrote. "It will be a tremendous game, but some fans will not be able to watch the game because just a few hours before the first face off, their TVs will become obsolete without a converter box. "
Dingell did not mince words. "Over the next 36 hours, many local affiliates that have not switched from an analog signal to a digital signal must do so, rendering televisions that are not digital or are without a digital convertor box useless."
Well, not exactly. In many markets, there will be a station voluntarily keeping an analog nightlight signal. But that will be confined to DTV transition information and emergency information, neither of which includes hockey games.
"I hope that you will take the time to talk with your family, friends, and neighbors about this upcoming switch, focusing in particular on those who might be affected," he said. Many people rely on their televisions as the primary source of emergency information and news. It is critical that we get information about the digital converter boxes to those who need it...If you need more information, please do not hesitate to call my office at 313-278-2936."