Archive for Wednesday, February 4, 2009

In reversal, U.S. House makes it all but certain the digital TV transition will be in June

February 4, 2009


— Congress has now decided to give people four more months to prepare for the upcoming transition from analog to digital TV broadcasting.

The House voted Wednesday to postpone the end of analog TV signals until June 12. The move is meant to address concerns that more than 6.5 million Americans with older TVs would not be ready by Feb. 17, the originally mandated deadline.

The House took up the question last week but under a special procedure that required more than a simple majority. This time it went through a normal vote.

The Senate passed the measure unanimously last week and the bill now heads to President Barack Obama for his signature. Obama’s spokesman has said the president will sign it.


KSChick1 6 years, 9 months ago

I think we should just go back to the days of rabbit ears and 8-track players. I still have a Fleetwood Mac 8-track tape I'd love to listen to, in all it's scratchy tinniness!

d_prowess 6 years, 9 months ago

I don't feel like I get worked up that easily about things, but this thing drives me nuts!! It doesn't mention it in this article, but I believe there is some significant cost in also delaying the change. WHY?!? Make the change, let those affected by it adapt, and move on! Given that the fixes are fairly easy, I don't think we are going to black out 6.5 million people for very long. And it is 6.5 million people. Not exactly a huge number. Most probably won't even know they don't have the right equipment until they stop being able to watch their shows. JUST DO IT ALREADY!!!!!

labmonkey 6 years, 9 months ago many friggin years notice have we had on this thing??? Was't it originally supposed to happen in 2005 and kept getting pushed back? Let the EMTs have those signals.

madameX 6 years, 9 months ago

As I understand it (not from this article, but from what they said on npr on my way home last night) part of the reason that there are so many people not ready for the conversion is that the government can't hand out any more of the coupons for the converter boxes. Part of the reason for that is that when they first announced the conversion they budgeted a certain amount but the a bunch of people who didn't need the converter boxes and weren't accounted for applied for them and got them, leaving not enough for those who actually do need them. So there probably are some slackers who can't be bothered to do anything about their TV situation until the set actually goes black, but the delay is in part because of poor planning and/or vetting who to give these coupons to when the project first started. On that note, I have a console record player from 1965 that still sounds great if anyone would like a listen.

d_prowess 6 years, 9 months ago

Good comments mademeX, but I think pushing it back will just continue to perpetuate that problem. This issue is again getting a lot of publicity because of the push back and so even more people will incorrectly think they need the boxes. If they flip the switch now, some people may have to then pay for the boxes in the immediate, but some type of program can then be instituted to issue them a credit. This might be a bit more work, but probably would save money in the long run.This all just seems so blown out of proportion!

rachaelisacancer 6 years, 9 months ago

NPR talked about the cost of further delay yesterday: personally and selfishly I'm glad for it. I've decided I can't/won't pay $50 a month for cable. When I applied for a converter box coupon in December, I was put on the waiting list. The site says I shouldn't expect my coupon, if I ever get one, before April.

Steve Jacob 6 years, 9 months ago

Get this...from"The Federal government raked in $20 billion by selling licenses for the frequencies being vacated by local television stations for other commercial uses."

kmat 6 years, 9 months ago

Thanks for posting that link rachael. The problem is all the people that didn't understand that they didn't need the box. My parents asked for two coupons, not realizing that they didn't really need them (they're really old, give them a break). After 90 days, the coupons expire and the funds are available again for someone that does need them.One interesting thing from NPR was people that live in very rugged areas (in the mountains) may get nothing but a black screen even with the box. Before, they could get a snowy picture, but could still see and hear it. With digital, it's good signal or nothing at all. One guy called in that lived in the mountains and there was no way the box would work for him. Sometimes digital isn't better.This isn't hurting anyone, so why complain about it?

Bobo Fleming 6 years, 9 months ago

Kmat- Dish TV try it and you will like it.

TriSigmaKS 6 years, 9 months ago

It would be interesting to know what is keeping stations from just "turning off" their analog transmission. Is there something legal that is requiring them to transmit in analog? I know that about 90% of stations that were going to "make the switch" have aready fired up the digital transmitters. Someone mentioned about giving the EMT's their frequencies. AMEN. I would rather Billy Bob No Cable/Satellite (or those of you that waited until December to apply for a coupon (sub note: you can still buy the box without a coupon if you have to have free tv)) has their BOX GO DARK than those EMTs radios remain less functional. Anyone remember the stories about 9/11 radios? This switch was meant to alleviate this gap.

spankyandcranky 6 years, 9 months ago

This is SO silly. I don't understand how tv conversion is something we even consider THINKING about as a nation, or rather, as the nation's government when there are crisises to be dealt with -- financially and otherwise! How is this even on an agenda? Is this REALLY a priority at the moment to citizens and elected officials?

Shardwurm 6 years, 9 months ago

A HUGE victory for our messiah Uncle Barry!

deskboy04 6 years, 9 months ago

Do I need to get a converter box? Do they have them at Wal Mart? Will someone hook it up for me? I need more time!

derekleeinkc 6 years, 9 months ago

FYI... Congress may of pushed back the DTV change date, but all of the Topeka, Wichita, and most of, if not all of, the Kansas City markets are going to switch Feb. 17.The delay isn't mandatory.

rusty2 6 years, 9 months ago

with their involvement in digital television technology just imagine what congress can do getting involved in the auto industry?

rusty2 6 years, 9 months ago

deskboy04 - yes you need a converter box so thatbig brother can monitor you more easily and so that youcan get private messages from the NSA/CIA/FBI while you are allowed to watch High Definition Football, the new religion of US INC.also your converter box will give you instant access tonew wars planned by the Dept. of Defense and allow youto watch the 'surge work' and the rebuilding of Iraq!why in no time Baghdad will be all smoothed out just like Berlin, right?

davidsmom 6 years, 9 months ago

The Kansas City market is switching Feb. 17th. End of story.

budwhysir 6 years, 9 months ago

I for one wouldnt have cable if it was free to everyone in the world. I would say that this is plain silly if there is worry about people not having a voucher for a free box. Taking the free thing a little to far for me. how would anyone be in danger from not being able to watch tv? Dont we have a public library that has access to any media one might need to watch? Dont all the electronic stores play tvs all day so one could watch? Im sorry but I find a complete opposite reasoning behind "ooops just cut off my hand dont have insurance could you sew me up for free so I dont die?" and "ooops missed the Oprah show, could you give me a 50 dollar digital box so I dont die?"

Godot 6 years, 9 months ago

Well, Sprint made a good investment. This delay will help them with their G4; others, like 'Verizon, will be at a disadvantage.Anyone remember Sprint Stadium?

Godot 6 years, 9 months ago

Correction- "Sprint Colloseum" or even, "Sprint Cathedral."

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