Westinghouse–Activate your tuner so we can count you

My post about having to activate the tuners on my Westinghouse television set has been read quite a bit lately. I’m guessing there has been a nice sale on the sets. Whatever the reason, it dawned on me that Westinghouse may just have an FAQ on its site that explains this odd and stupid action they force upon their customers. Well, sure enough, they did.  The Q&A that explains the activation is as follows:

Q: Why do I need to enter a tuner code for my television to receive over-the-air broadcasts?
A: This enables Westinghouse users to choose a feature that most TV users do not use, receiving over-the-air broadcasts. This choice simplifies TV operation for users who do not intend to receive such broadcasts, such as by avoiding unnecessary channel scans. The access code input enables Westinghouse to accurately count the end users who seek to enable the ATSC tuner, for purposes of royalty reporting (but for the end user, this activation is free). This looks to the future of television design: Digital televisions are beginning to include installable hardware or software features.

So, just because a number of people do not actually watch over the air digital television, this company is compelled to get an ‘accurate’ count for purposes of royalty reporting? What? If this were true, why are they the only ones requiring this stupid process to take place?

Forcing a customer to call or go to a website to get a code to ‘activate’ a feature that SHOULD be immediately available is disingenuous, inconvenient and annoying. The notion that they are doing those who do not intend to receive over the air broadcasts a favor is just ridiculous. Making something more difficult, ON PURPOSE, for the end user is just as ridiculous.

So, there you have it. They are doing you a favor—IF you do not wish to watch high definition, over the air, digital TV that is. If you do, well, that’s too bad. Westinghouse wants to know. I would encourage would be buyers to go with another brand instead. Like a nice Vizio. Or maybe a Sanyo.

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