If you caught the one and only April 10 episode of the canceled Secret Talents of the Stars, featuring George Takei, Mr. Sulu from the original Star Trek, singing country, you may long for the Golden Age of Television.
Well, we there's no time machine to whisk you away from today's TV reality (shows) and back to the 1950s and I Love Lucy. At least you are in time for the "Green Age" of TV recycling.
Even so, that's potentially a lot of older televisions being retired in a short time. And the EPA says that the cathode ray tubes in conventional TVs contain enough lead to classify them as hazardous waste. That said, it is worth putting some thought into whether to replace your old set and how to do so responsibly. If you do upgrade in the next few months, remember that getting rid of the old one in an eco-sensitive way requires more care than simply carting it to the curb.
That's because in an attempt to free up airwaves for the police and fire departments, The Federal Communications Commission is changing our national television transmission next year from an analog signal to a digital one. Meanwhile, the Consumer Electronics Association released a consumer survey back in December, showing that only 50% of U.S. households now own a digital television. The association self-servingly predicts that 32 million more digital TVs will ship this year and estimates that 79% of those will be high-definition. A slowing economy, of course, could quickly take the rosy tinge off of those very optimistic statistics.
Here are some things to consider on the eve of the digital revolution: You don't actually have to replace your television.
If you are one of the 58% of television owners who have subscription television, you have no worries. Cable providers such as Time Warner(TWX) and Comcast(CMCSA) already deliver their programming via a digital signal. Satellite services like the Dish Network(DISH) and Directv(DTV) do, too.