DTV likely delayed till June 12

The Senate Republicans and Obama have been pushing the need to keep analog signals online instead of switching all television transmissions to digital, to free up wireless spectrum, meaning that we could see a delay in the switch. It would seem after reports of the delay, and with the FCC backing to prevent the switch, it is likely the Senate will postpone it.

A new bill has been presented to delay the switch of DTV till June 12, 2009 because too many Americans, up to 6.5 million households, are not prepared for the switch. The original bill was passed by Congress in 2005, mandating that the switch would be February 17, 2009. On February 17, 2009 all broadcasters would switch off their analog signals and move to digital.

The waiting list for a coupon to get $40 off a digital converter box, has reached 2.6 million requests after the shortage. Many Americans who attempted to redeem the coupon has had troubles, or their coupons have expired. If the bill is passed next week, Americans with expired coupons will be able to apply for a new one with 90 days to redeem the coupon. The bill will also allow customers to apply for a coupon from March 31 to July 31.

Stations eager to drop their analog signal may still wish to do so as of February 17, and switch to digital. A delay in the transition would mean companies that have billions for the wireless spectrum from the government will be put on hold, as well as public safety agencies that have been patiently waiting for the spectrum to be freed up.

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6.5 million households, are not prepared for the switch

and they still won''t be in June because those people are either too lazy to learn or get prepared for it.

I'm sick of hearing the commercials about the switch. I'm sick of talking about it, just do the switch already, no one will complain about it.

I agree with warwagon. This is ludicrous. I mean I have nothing to worry about but those 2.6 million people are whats up....like wow.

I say hell with them and cut the analog. Digital is the new future. So be it.

Ugh! Now many people are going to be confused. I just hope there's only one delay, and they don't keep delaying it over and over again.

So then I'm guessing it'll be moved to August, then December, then 2010, etc. It's like removing a bandaid. You need to rip it off quick, instead of slowly pulling it off. Rescheduling the transition every time we get close to the date is not practical at all. When are you more likely to act? 2 months before the transition so you can prepare, or when your TV goes black? People just care that they have TV now! When they don't have TV, they'll want it back, and that's when they'll go get themselves a converter box.

6.5 million house out of what like $100 million. that's a good turnout, drop those bums and let them suffer for being slow. Working in retail I can't blame old people for this, because they are the main people that came in with the coupons and if they didn't know they asked for help. It's like younger people who are stubborn and stupid who don't want to buy a new TV or just disagree with the switch on principle who are screwing us over.

Who exactly is going to pay for all of these TV stations to continue to operate their analog transmitter, for the time they didn't budget for? Tax payers dollars?

This was originally supose to happen in um 2002! from what I remember it's already been delayed 3 times... get the darn thing done with already!

The Senate Republicans and Obama

You mean the Senate Democrats.

Most of the Republicans oppose the delay because they are lobbied heavily by business. Businesses have spent a fortune on the transition, have plans to execute, and on top of that wireless carriers have spent billions on the spectrum and want to use it... All the high speed services they've been promising? Yep, you need to turn off analog TV first...

Granted, everyone knows it won't happen in June either. Congress has no spine. They should just deal with it, refund the money to all the wireless carriers, and add another 20B to their "bailout everyone" package to reimburse the broadcasters for their pain and suffering wasting money on a transition that they'll never do anyway. Oh, and then you'll need to add 20B to the bailout for wireless carriers to cover the fact that they can't sell 4G services on the spectrum they were promised. And another 20B for the police and fire departments since they were counting on some of that for their new unified radios. Crap, and you might as well add another 20B to the entertainment industry, because there won't be enough bandwidth to stream ads, TV, and movies to everyone's phone.

The wost thing, analog users will wake up Feb 18th and think they don't need a converter because "It works just fine, and they've been telling me for 2 years that it wont. It must not affect me."

I don't care what political party you are from, but I wish every single person in the US voted for the new guy in the next election. Seriously, throw out every elected official every 2 years until they start realizing that 300 million people can't stand any of them and think they're utter failures at being human.

Skyfrog said,
There are also Republicans backing the delay. Kay Bailey Hutchison for one.

You're incorrect. I'm sure you might find one or two Republicans getting special interest money, but that's about it. As for KBH, she does *not* support a delay. Democrats are near unanimous.

http://www.multichannel.com/article/161787..._Transition.php

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (Texas), the most senior Republican on Senate Commerce Committee, also questioned the wisdom of moving the transition date.

“We need to focus on a solution to the coupon shortage. Shifting the date this close to the transition, without a sound plan to share information about the new transition date, will likely result in significant confusion," she said.

"A bipartisan agreement to delay the country̢۪s digital TV changeover from Feb. 17 to June 12 was announced Thursday night by Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va." ... "It has the support of the ranking Republican on the Senate Commerce Committee, Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas."

http://www.tvweek.com/news/2009/01/senate_...lay_digital.php

Your source is outdated, the Republicans had been opposing it but they have now agreed on a plan for the delay.

Skyfrog said,
Your source is outdated, the Republicans had been opposing it but they have now agreed on a plan for the delay.

According to that article it isn't as simple as a delay. Republicans blocked an overall delay, but the negotiations now allow broadcasters to cut off their signals, *at the original date* if they choose to do so, and the FCC was compelled to auction more spectrum.

That's not a delay per-se. The big question, will some affiliates jump early? That could be a great situation. People will still have TV, but, "Oh no, they've lost some stations!" That may actually compel people to move sooner.

If they were intelligent, they would have forced specific networks to jump months apart and determined the order by lottery. Then people with analog TVs could still get emergency information and realize they really need to get a converter. The lottery would have kept things fair in regards to harming broadcast ratings (we should have started with PBS).

But needless to say, the government is run by buffoons (or at least 435 Congressmen, 100 Senators, and 1 President in-the-pocket of special interests), so nothing truly insightful will ever happen.

Schmoe said,
According to that article it isn't as simple as a delay. Republicans blocked an overall delay, but the negotiations now allow broadcasters to cut off their signals, *at the original date* if they choose to do so, and the FCC was compelled to auction more spectrum.

That's not a delay per-se. The big question, will some affiliates jump early? That could be a great situation. People will still have TV, but, "Oh no, they've lost some stations!" That may actually compel people to move sooner.

If they were intelligent, they would have forced specific networks to jump months apart and determined the order by lottery. Then people with analog TVs could still get emergency information and realize they really need to get a converter. The lottery would have kept things fair in regards to harming broadcast ratings (we should have started with PBS).

But needless to say, the government is run by buffoons (or at least 435 Congressmen, 100 Senators, and 1 President in-the-pocket of special interests), so nothing truly insightful will ever happen.


Actually, the public-broadcasting stations are mostly ready, and are pretty much against the delay. The Greater Washington Educational Television Association, which owns/operates WETATV/DT/FM here, has come out bluntly and said that they will stick to the original deadline.

The issue is primarily certain groups of network *affiliates* in rural states and sparsely-populated areas of other states (note that Sen. John "Jay" Rockefeller (D-WV) is a major sponsor, as is Sen. Young from Louisiana). Notice that I said the broadcasters in those areas, not necessarily their target audience. Sorry; you can't blame PBS for this one!

PGHammer said,
Sorry; you can't blame PBS for this one!

Huh? I'm not blaming PBS for anything. I'm just saying the government should have forced them to switch first based on the government funding. That way some significant group of people wouldn't get PBS, and called the station and be told "you need to get your converter!!!"

As I said, a lottery would have been most fair. They should have done it by DMA so that, on balance, no network would have been disadvantaged. Some cities would have lost FOX first, others NBC, etc... Instead of cutting off everything at once, they could have staggered it, which would have compelled people to ask. At the same time it would have totally nullified the "public safety" concerns (they can't get emergency info, weather, whatever.

You know, there's probably only three groups of people left that don't get it: 1.) old people, 2.) conspiracy theorists, and 3.) the weird, "Hills Have Eyes" families living in god-knows-where. Even if you don't watch analog TV often, it's not like the switch is obvious or anything. Hell, the rest of us have been bombarded by the damn commercials forever. I don't want to seem too crass, but I have to agree with the above; if they don't want to change, **** 'em.

Digital TV has been in use for years now. There is no reason everyone isn't on Digital now.

Why are people still watching analog? If you can't view digital, you should have known by now.

People who are waiting until the day analog is getting turned off to buy a converter box, they deserve to lose their signal. Sitting on their asses for all theses years? To hell with them.

Xenomorph said,
Digital TV has been in use for years now. There is no reason everyone isn't on Digital now.

Why are people still watching analog? If you can't view digital, you should have known by now.

People who are waiting until the day analog is getting turned off to buy a converter box, they deserve to lose their signal. Sitting on their asses for all theses years? To hell with them.


Most of the people who haven't switched are below middle-class, that don't have a lot of income

The switchover has been coming for 5 years now. Even those without a lot of income could have saved up enough to afford a set-top-box by now. I think even the most low income of families could have afforded 20 cents or so a week to put in a jar.

Xenomorph said,
Digital TV has been in use for years now. There is no reason everyone isn't on Digital now.

Why are people still watching analog? If you can't view digital, you should have known by now.

For the stubborn majority, they just say because it works and theres no need to "mess" with it. They go by "If it ain't broke, don't try to fix it."

Well, the stations should still switch on Feb. 17 - This way you'll still be able to redeem your coupons for those who applied and red flags will be going up for all the lazies. And it's not like there is a lack of hulu.com or youtube

Of course Obama isn't more sensible than that. He obviously has a large voting block that he needs to thank for electing him; the tech-illiterate dip5hit.

kferd said,
Of course Obama isn't more sensible than that. He obviously has a large voting block that he needs to thank for electing him; the tech-illiterate dip5hit.


Well, it certainly doesn't help matters that I still encounter people who are under the impression that they will no longer need an antenna with the converter box, or that they need a converter box for their TV that is on cable. The democrats finally figured out how to win over the southern states; by nominating a black man they virtually guaranteed themselves a vote from every black resident (a segment of the population that generally had low turnouts in the past).

Has the government ever read the story about the boy who cried wolf? They've been saying February 17 for years now, only to change it at the last minute? If people have been putting it off this long they'll never upgrade now. They will think that the deadline will just keep being delayed (and at this point they'd probably be right). I'm very disappointed that Obama is pushing for a delay, I thought he was more sensible than that.

Great all the consumer needs is now more confusion.

Consumer - Wait......June 12, 2009 ? .......uh? ........what.....??..... I thought it was Feb 17th?..... i'm confused.

This is one of the STUPIDEST things i've ever heard. If some ****ing morning doesn't get the hint by now that their tv will no longer work without a converter box on feb 17th 2009 they are a ****ing idiot.

Some may argue well they just aren't that up on technology. My response to that is if the auto industry said you need new special tires to be able to drive after feb 17th you can be sure I'd have the god damn tires by feb 17th.

What a bunch of ****ing morons.

warwagon said,
Great all the consumer needs is now more confusion.

Consumer - Wait......June 12, 2009 ? .......uh? ........what.....??..... I thought it was Feb 17th?..... i'm confused.

This is one of the STUPIDEST things i've ever heard. If some ****ing morning doesn't get the hint by now that their tv will no longer work without a converter box on feb 17th 2009 they are a ****ing idiot.

Some may argue well they just aren't that up on technology. My response to that is if the auto industry said you need new special tires to be able to drive after feb 17th you can be sure I'd have the god damn tires by feb 17th.

What a bunch of ****ing morons.


Even when warnings started in 2005, and ads have been running daily on TV. I can understand a few thousand have never heard of this crap, but for 2.6 million people to submit a late submission for a coupon is stupid. I say cut them off, and let them go buy another coupon. America has spent enough money trying to help out, and if you missed out, you missed out.

este said,
They're not 'cave dwellers' ... ;)


They might as well be, this information has been everywhere, in this case we should just move forward because there will always be someone who isn't ready. You snooze, you lose.

This is beyond stupid, this is downright ludicrous. We've known about this looming switch for 3 years, people who need the hardware to keep their tvs working have been given ample opportunities to get it in place (if their coupon expired its there own damn fault, take some goddamn personal responsibility and pay the extra $40), I really just don't understand why this keeps having to lag behind for a minority of the population who has been dragging their feet. What can I say, I'm a Darwinist.

This is stupid. They've had years to prepare, if these cave dwellers aren't ready now they never will be.

Indeed. It was first decided back in 2005 that it would be turned off in February. Thats up to 5 years. Whats another 4 months going to help if the luddites are not upgraded after 5 years?