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Archive for August, 2008

If you own a DVD or VHS recorder purchased before March 2007 it may contain an analog “NTSC” tuner. Why does that matter? Because when the FCC’s long-anticipated analog-to-digital deadline arrives June 12, 2009, your DVD recorder or VCR may not work the way you are accustomed to: set the program, load a blank DVD or VHS tape and let the recorder’s built-in timer tune to the station on which the program airs. That’s not the only change consumers should anticipate, either. As of February 17, 2009, cable subscribers who do not have high definition television sets or compatible recording devices will either end up with a temporary analog feed, effective through February 17, 2012, or an all-digital feed necessitating digital-to-analog conversion boxes designed for cable subscribers who use analog components.

If all this sounds confusing, it gets worse.

After the switchover, those who intend to use a DVD, DVR or VCR recording device containing an analog tuner in conjunction with a newer HDTV or HD-enabled satellite or cable box may be in for more heachaches than anticipated. Depending on a component’s date of manufacture and whether or not a digital-to-analog converter is used, the option to record onto an analog-style device may no longer exist. (more…)

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Have you taken steps to assemble a disaster preparedness kit? Those with medical conditions requiring daily medications — or those with loved ones who need them — may be in for a rude awakening.

Emergency preparedness experts advise individuals and their household members to plan for a minimum of three days without access to outside sources of food, water, sanitation, utilities and transportation. Some experts take it a step further, however: Be prepared to become self reliant for up to a week. That means stocking supplies not only at home, but often at work, school or even one’s automobile. After all, you never know where you will be when disaster strikes.

Disaster preparedness literature advocates stocking necessary medications, but those who are insured and require daily medications to treat asthma, diabetes or other chronic conditions may run into an unexpected and ironic obstacle: Many health insurance companies have no provision in place to allow subscribers to obtain doctor-authorized refills for use in an emergency supply kit. (more…)

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