Congress decides to delay American DTV until June 12th

If you're getting confused about when the DTV transition will happen, you're not alone. As it stands today, Congress has passed a law to delay the DTV transition until June 12th; the bill is currently waiting President Obama's signature but he has publicly endorsed the idea. So now that the date is nice and firm lets add a massive amount of confusion into the mix.

According to the FCC, up to 61% percent of TV stations will be allowed to make the switch earlier than June 12th. So, rather than have one unified date for the entire country, Congress borked up the entire process by allowing some stations to convert as they please but everyone must convert by June 12th.

The moral of the story is that you need to watch your local stations to see when they will make the switch. This is true for about 6.5 million people who may be affected, while the other 296.5 million people, who are ready, don't need to do a thing.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Bill Gates unleashes mosquito's on TED crowd

Next Story

Stardock releases "Fences"


View more comments

EMS does not equal National Security. The digital switch has been hashed up as far back as 1996 and has nothing to do with 9/11. Shaving off some frequencies was an afterthought, and really, the frequencies went to the highest bidding, money hungry dollar from the telco's.

Before you start waving your flag again, I'm from Canada and we keep our people safe by having a sensible foreign policy while saving the TRILLIONS that the US finds itself in debt.

If not one unified date to switch analog off, then I wouldn't have minded a date-by-region deal, for example where one region turns off by February 1st, another region by February 20th, and yet another by March 1st. That way, the news of the switch and the reaction gets around the national channels and people are made more aware.

But long story short, this is stupid. I wish they'd just switch already.

Basix and Gonads, the major reason is national security. It is amazing how many people do not know the main reason for a switch. The most important reason for this switch over is to free up analog frequencies for EMS, police, fire and federal law enforcement. When 9/11 happened, a major problem was with communications between all the agencies. They discovered that due to the lack of available frequencies, emergency responders were not able to commincate with each other. These analog frequencies will enable a more reliable emergency response system which will benefit me and all US citizens in the form of peace and security. That is why I am concerned. It has nothing to do with TV. This will not affect my TV viewing at all. Basix, this is why this is so upsetting to me. Obviously you have no idea why the actual transition is taking place. Also, the goverment was able to sell these frequencies to the highest bidder and generated billions of dollars in revenue from companies like Verizon and AT&T.

Very well said! If another major event like 9/11 happens again, and public safety officials aren't able to communicate effectively with each other, there's going to be a lot of blame going around due to this delay.

This is one of the dumbest moves ever. There were dozens of cable companies ready to tear down and decommission their infrastructure, hundreds of other companies ready to activate new infrastructure on their purchased spectrum, new services and technology to be launched, fiscal projections to be made, budgets to be rewritten, jobs to be filled, mountains being moved.. and now they all just got royally ****ed.

There's going to be a huge line of companies waiting to sue the crap out of the US Government. Things are going to turn really, really ugly.

The worst part about the delay is that the broadcasters have no obligation to adhere to it. The stations can switch off analog at any time after the 17th, and a lot of them are planning to stick to the original date, mostly due to the cost of running the analog transmitters.

Once people finally realize that 'oh crap, I can't get TV' will be when they go get the converter.

yeah... cut out millions of viewers losing millions in advertising dollars and lose viewership compared to the stations that stay on analog... i see lots of tv-stations doing this.

seta-san said,
yeah... cut out millions of viewers losing millions in advertising dollars and lose viewership compared to the stations that stay on analog... i see lots of tv-stations doing this.

Uh, individual stations. Not networks.
Yes, a lot are planning on doing it.
Maybe not stations in areas where it would affect a lot of viewers, but a lot of them will convert.

I am taking the odds against this being done on June 12th. They will delay it again.

There will be stupid people all the time, so technically we will never really be ready.

We were supposed to be on digital YEARS ago... then it got delayed to Feb 17... and now its delayed again. We're never going to be completely digital.

It can't be the "right" until congress ****s up with it... and causes a ton of confusion and money to be lost. Who knows now when stations are going digital. I hope most of them stick with the 2/17 date.

Since the old analog channels frequencies have been purchased and where supposed to be available for use on the 18 of Feb; doesn't that mean that the tax payers will have to pay for nulling the contract with the buyers?

This whole thing effects everyone who actually voted for the idiot in office! Of course he will have to delay everything to make sure he thanks those people!

This has been going on long enough, convert it and stop wasting our tax dollars on something so freaking stupid.

Great...just great
Now I'm going to get random customers coming in or calling going " can't, but I NBC just fine. What should I do?".

At least 2 of the the local news stations in my area are going ahead with the switch on the 17th, good for them. I hope the others can be convinced to switch as well on that date.

Idiocy. Not to turn this into a political debate, but doesn't the leadership of our country have more important things to occupy their time. Maybe if they spent more time reviewing potential candidates for political appointment, they could not nominating TAX EVADERS. The analog to digital switch has been more than sufficiently advertised, and the American public is as prepared as they likely are ever going to be.

Stop concerning yourself with minor policies, such as television signals, and get down to the business of running this country. Trust me, if it is an either or situation, believe most would much rather have a job over their nightly sitcoms.

they should have turned off analog tv years ago, cell phones have been primarily digital for atleast 5 years. If you living in the stoneage then the US taxpayer shouldn't have to support your bad judgement.

computergeek83 said,
they should have turned off analog tv years ago, cell phones have been primarily digital for atleast 5 years. If you living in the stoneage then the US taxpayer shouldn't have to support your bad judgement.

Analog cell phone service just went off a couple years ago... I remember that transition and people screaming their old Brick phones wont work :rollseyes:

There are a couple stations around here that said if they delayed it again they would be bankrupt because of the cost to keep the analog transmitter running at full power PLUS a digital transmitter is very high... and they didn't budget for keeping it running past feb 17th... and we're talking $10,000 a day in some cases to run an analog transmitter at full power

This is one of the most asinine decisions they've made recently. As many others have said, those who haven't prepared for the switch by now probably won't unless they're forced to. I can't think of a justified excuse to delay this. It's been advertised constantly for well over a year, and has been announced long before that. I'd also like for someone arguing the "people can't afford it" point to explain to me how these people who can't afford a $40 converter have managed to buy the TV, have a dwelling to keep it in, and manage to cover the expenses of living when they don't have $40.

This is a case of misguided socialism. This isn't fighting big government to help out the underprivileged. This is screwing the government out of pity for the foolish.

Commenting is disabled on this article.