If you want to get people to do something, offer prizes. That’s what the Consumer Electronics Association (the group behind the annual CES mega-show) and the National Association of Broadcasters have done. To help publicize the impending transition to digital over-the-air TV broadcasts in February, the two organizations are sponsoring a “Rabbit Ears Pioneers” contest which you can enter at http://www.antennaweb.org/rep/rep_index.html.
The contest is intended to highlight the stories of real people helping others deal with the end of analog broadcasts. A Rabbit Ears Pioneer is someone who relies on over-the-air broadcasts, has a TV set, and an antenna, and needs help in preparing for the switch. Submit an essay of 200 words or more that describes the Pioneer, what they like to watch, and their equipment. If your entry is picked as a monthly semi-final winner, your Pioneer will receive a GE digital converter box and an RCA antenna. And all the semi-final winners will be eligible for the grand prize, in which both you and your Pioneer will each receive a complete home television entertainment system with a flat screen TV, a Blu-ray DVD player, and a surround sound audio system.
It’s an interesting program, and will likely help spread the word, but keep in mind that people like you are probably the best front line offense in helping people prepare for the transition. Talk about it with friends and family, and consider contacting local organizations such as nursing homes that may have residents who are not prepared for the changeover. People remain confused about who will be affected by the change and what they need to do to get ready, and we all need to help them understand the facts.