Obama pushes to delay DTV

President-elect Barrack Obama is preparing to delay the switch over from analog to digital as one of his first duties as president, stating that many Americans are not ready for the switch. The cut off date was scheduled for February 17, 2009 in America, which was to free up airwaves for emergency services.

"We are extremely pleased the incoming administration is supportive of consumer efforts to ensure that the poor, elderly and rural consumers do not face economic hardship as we move broadcasting to digital transmission," said Gene Kimmelman, the group's vice president for federal policy.

The DTV coupons offered by the US government ran into short supply, after many consumers rushed to get one of the $40 coupons, maximum two per household, nearing the deadline for the cut off. Anyone who submitted a request for one after February 4 was put onto a waiting list, unsure if those on the waiting list will receive one. Talks about putting more money forward to the already $1.34 Billion allocated to help the switch are under way.

The switch to DTV will rid of the "rabbit ears" on TV's, switching over to digital broadcasts only, requiring all owners to have a satellite connection, or digital converter box. Currently, only the Netherlands and Finland have fully switch to digital broadcasts, while countries like Canada will switch on August 31, 2011, followed by Japan on July 24, 2011, and the UK in 2012.

Looks like this lady won't need to worry for a little longer:

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I know I need a bit of education on how and why its so important to get everyone off analog uhf frequencies. But I am starting to believe 3/4 of you posters also need educated as well... there are over 3000 uhf frequencies for broadcast transmittion. Broadcast tv uses less than 800 of them ... So my question is why is it such a push to open up ALL of these 800 frequencies for other purposes when there are still 2000+ frequencies out there. I do realize many of those frequencies are taken but Im sure there are MANY MANY more that are not. I believe it has more to do with corporate america running over the poor and helpless than it does with needed frequency ranges. I could be wrong and will admit that may be the case. It just seems you guys are pushing a topic for the purpose of arguing a point you know nothing about. If you are educated on the subject how about shedding a bit of that light on the rest of us who would like to understand but have issue with statements like...." its not my fault people are poor". and... What wireless advances are going to benefit you that are not already available in different forms or aspects. There is cell phone wireless frequencies that we all get, fcc regulated frequencies that we can apply for, and non fcc that we can use. I get 20mbps on a 2.4 wireless radio for internet. I have the capability to get 100 mbps on non regulated wireless. So there is speed options if you know how to look and where to look...
Please help me understand your Im more important than you attitudes...

"ensure that the poor, elderly and rural consumers..."

Hahaha. I get analog with an antenna (10 channels is all I need) and I don't fit into any of these categories.

It bothers so many people because it's pushing back a non-essential deadline for "humanitarian" reasons. If he's not even in office yet and he's already mega-pandering then nothing will be fixed. That's the bigger issue. The economy won't be fixed because rather than shafting the people in favor of big business, big business will be shafted in favor of the people leading to more companies crumbling. It's slippery-slope at its finest but it's still a somewhat valid point.

We as a society should be helping each other grow NOT lagging behind because of the people who refuse to help themselves.

I don't understand why people care about this. I live in Canada so maybe there's thing i don't understand but i'm a cable subscriber (most here are) and i don't see how an extended life span of analog over-the-air TV could change anything in my life.

LaP said,
I don't understand why people care about this. I live in Canada so maybe there's thing i don't understand but i'm a cable subscriber (most here are) and i don't see how an extended life span of analog over-the-air TV could change anything in my life.

Analog TV uses up a large range off radio spectrum that could be used for better things. Once the spectrum is freed up it can be used for all sorts of new wireless technologies. But if you live in CA, it will not effect you. It is delaying the new wireless services that have us aggravated.

I would hope Obama knows what the big picture is and is simply doing this as a political stunt. This is going to be a long 4 years.

Obama sounds like a newbie already... You can't make everyone happy.

Just get the switchover done, disturb and annoy a minority of people, and force them to change their ways - but have everyone else satisfied with it.

It's a complete joke, the US is in so deep trouble in many ways but all Obama thinks about is TV? He can't be serious. America needs to cut spending (stop Iraq war, stop this BS bailouts we won't help the economy at all).

This should have been Obama's top priority from day one. It's pathetic!

not saying McCain would be anyhow better...

It's a complete joke, the US is in so deep trouble in many ways but all Obama thinks about is TV?

Yeah, that's all he's thinking about...

Do you even realize how dumb that post was?

thejohnnyq said,
I say we leave teh short yellow bus people behind. This has been pushed off before, and should not again.

This isn't Nazi Germany.

Godwin's Law. This thread was just begging for it. Congratulations for having me invoke it.

LTD said,
This isn't Nazi Germany.

Godwin's Law. This thread was just begging for it. Congratulations for having me invoke it.


Give me a break, why should we dumb down America for the few? Less then 13 % would require the boxes, and it is estimated that less then 10% of the people that need the converter boxes don't have them. Sorry, I don't think stopping progress for those whom claim they didn't know what was going on is the right thing to do.

BTW - You are a little quick at throwing out the Nazi tag, HIDDING SOMETHING?

This is a bit absurd. THIS is what one of his first duties as president is to be?
And the economy... not priority #1?

Just switch over already. It's time anyway.

Reading the replies here, many of you are complete a****

The people who still aren't ready for the transition are the older non-tech savvy people.

Then just how long are they supposed to wait for? People have known about this for years now and no matter how long you delay it for, people STILL won't be ready, this is the only way to force people to finally get off their backsides and upgrade.
The older population will always exist.

TC17 said,
Reading the replies here, many of you are complete a****

yeah, i agree. And you know what? All these people bashing Obamas decision probably dont realize something: The people who still aren't ready for the transition are the older non-tech savvy people. (for example my parents, altho we're in canada, we get most of our channels from the states)

Who votes? Mostly the older people!

Think about it....

Funny how so many here are blaming the people for "waiting" so long, when in fact its the Government who is to blame. They are the ones who forced this on everyone, the ones causing the poor to lose their televisions that they PAID for, and the Government is also the ones who aren't giving out any more coupons/money to pay for the televisions they are stealing from the poor. And this doesn't even take into account the stupid requirement of the coupons expiring in 90 days of when they were issued.

And yes, there are many people who still use only the airwaves for their TV. I have two of my Aunts/Uncles that do that because they can't afford cable.

Its typical of what always happens. The poor get poorer, and the rich get richer in America. The poor are the ones that always get screwed in everything in life.

TC17 said,
Funny how so many here are blaming the people for "waiting" so long, when in fact its the Government who is to blame. They are the ones who forced this on everyone, the ones causing the poor to lose their televisions that they PAID for, and the Government is also the ones who aren't giving out any more coupons/money to pay for the televisions they are stealing from the poor. And this doesn't even take into account the stupid requirement of the coupons expiring in 90 days of when they were issued.

And yes, there are many people who still use only the airwaves for their TV. I have two of my Aunts/Uncles that do that because they can't afford cable.

Its typical of what always happens. The poor get poorer, and the rich get richer in America. The poor are the ones that always get screwed in everything in life.

But our Xboxes, PS3s, and HD MUST get better. Didn't you know? Our entertainments are more important than our fellow human beings.

I am sure to get basted here for this but....To all of you guys bit ching and whining with the do it now attitude... Does this affect ANY of you in the least way. I am sure you can afford the digital cable, or satellite connection. You obviouly can afford that high end laptop, computer and that 52" HDTV that you have sitting on your $700 entertainment system. So... again.. how is this going to impact you in the slightest.
Look at the ghettos of south central. or harlem. How about the farming communities of the midwest where gramma and grammpa only use tv for the weather or news and nothing else... they cant afford or do not have access to cable tv in many of those heartland communities. Or how about the single mom with 4 kids and on welfare ( I know go get a job ) even then to some The only option is... Satellite at $60 a month
Give it a rest and think about all of mankind not just your insignificant selves.

@themousepad Please remind me how this has anything to do with that?

Sounds like you wish analog would just stick around forever? Why fix what ant broke? ha!

Yes it does effect me. This isn't just about TV, it is about freeing up spectrum that can be used for better things.

Poor people who can't afford the switch-over have more productive things they could be doing with their time than watching television.

/it's what you were all thinking

Good god, this world is falling apart. We should have moved to DTV by now, but everyone keeps on pushing it back.

Face it, Obama is a moron, and "thinks" too much. He needs to get his head out of his ass, and let things that don't concern him alone.

So when is it gonna be now, 2022 when we get it?

Sevan said,
Good god, this world is falling apart. We should have moved to DTV by now, but everyone keeps on pushing it back.

Face it, Obama is a moron, and "thinks" too much. He needs to get his head out of his ass, and let things that don't concern him alone.

So when is it gonna be now, 2022 when we get it? :laugh:
lol im pretty sure this is the lamest comment yet...

"he 'thinks' too much" . . . LOL, how lame.

Be happy that we have someone who "thinks to much." As far as I'm concerned there should be a lot more thinking, critically-minded individuals in office. Scholars, academics, etc.

LTD said,
"he 'thinks' too much" . . . LOL, how lame.

Be happy that we have someone who "thinks to much." As far as I'm concerned there should be a lot more thinking, critically-minded individuals in office. Scholars, academics, etc.


He may think it's good, but half the time it isn't. We've had all the time in the world to switch.

Fiddledeedee! This is deliberate pandering to the neo-Luddites and technophobes; it has nothing to do with the poor or even the elderly. Note that LPTV (low-power television) is *not* affected directly by the transition, and that non-commpercial public television (which is) has largely grabbed the bull by the horns (MegaHertz Networks, which operates a pair of public-television stations in Washington, DC's northern Virginia suburbs, has used the transition as a fulcrum to get into multicasting in a big way, providing foreign-sourced television both OTA and via local cable must-carry provisions, including NHK and even the Nigerian Television Authority's English-language broadcasts, among others) and jumped in with both feet!

By the way, most of the frequencies that would be vacated by the transition won't be sold; a major chunk will be set aside for other public two-way transmissions (primarily first-responder usage).

However, the major proponent to delay the transition is a Democrat (the senior Senator from Louisiana, if I'm not mistaken); his real reason has little to do with the poor and elderly (even in his state) but with a major (for Louisiana) local station owner that has been stalling for *years* on converting their stations to DTV.

Exactly, this probably has nothing to do with the poor or elderly, but with lazy and greedy station owners who want to keep pushing the date.

Why doesn't anyone read the fine print? The program was to expire for the coupons on Dec 31st, with all the money left over to go back to the feds. I went to the website, and it says that coupons need to be claimed by Dec 31st. So why should we care that they ran out of of the coupon?

Then again, we had a old lady in Cincinnati yell at the FCC chair that the converters should be handled like the phone books, they are delivered and if needed placed for you, (2 hours after she was done yelling, they announced that the White pages will no longer be delivered to homes).

This is ridiculous... they've delayed it too many times before. They've only been ramming Digital TV down our throats since 2005. 4 years is long enough to buy a TV or converter box.

Where are the facts that indicate the people on the waiting lists are of lower income? Anyone can get a rebate, there is no income level requirement to determine who receives these rebates, nor is their any sort of priority of who received these rebates first. The rebates shouldn't have even existed, for this money could have been used to fund the military to provide basic liberties to the many nations that still don't have them. And yet we selfish materialistic people can't dread a day without TV while others suffer from oppressive regimes.

LOL... provide funding to the military to provide basic civil liberties to the rest of the world. I did come across that line of thinking a lot when I did my graduate thesis on democratic peace theory.

If it makes you feel any better. Our government does not actually do much of anything to help people for free. They will get a significant revenue from selling off the unused frequency.

You've got to be kidding me! All this time people made fun of McCain for not keeping up with technology. So Obama is elected and he wants to cut-back on our space program and delay the digital television transition. I was expecting to be put off with his liberal agendas and increases in government, but this is totally surprising.

But really, I could care less about over-the-air channels. They could do away with them completely for all I care. The content is all FCC-regulated BS anyways.

I don't know, over the air HDTV at 1080 looks pretty sweet. The cable company can provide a pretty nasty signal. In some places in this country you can get about 30 channels of free TV (that looks nice), though it is missing a lot in the way of content.

bluarash said,
I don't know, over the air HDTV at 1080 looks pretty sweet. The cable company can provide a pretty nasty signal. In some places in this country you can get about 30 channels of free TV (that looks nice), though it is missing a lot in the way of content.

Well when it's digital, it either works or it doesn't. One complaint that I have about the digital transition is that it doesn't make the cable companies turn off their analog signals. But since that's on their own wires it shouldn't be the FCC's business to regulate it.

I'm convinced that on-demand television is the future, and cable is 2nd best system to handle that (with fiber being ideal). Satellite lacks the bandwidth necessary. DSL can handle it (like AT&T U-Verse), but it's going to reach its speed limits before cable will.

Right now on-demand television is just getting started, but it's seriously lacking in content. More companies need to get involved. I should be able to select any show I want to watch and then choose from a list of all of its episodes.

This has already been delayed over and over again. It has already been proven that stupid people will not prepare. We can put it of again but stupid people will still fail to prepare. McCain has a lot to do with getting this over with and not delaying it anymore.

Chugworth said,
I'm convinced that on-demand television is the future, and cable is 2nd best system to handle that (with fiber being ideal). Satellite lacks the bandwidth necessary. DSL can handle it (like AT&T U-Verse), but it's going to reach its speed limits before cable will.

I would agree to a point. I do believe that Cable companies have more bandwidth than traditional DSL providers. The problem, however, is that Cable is a bit more shared and they use a lot of compression to make up for it. Further, most don't come close to utilizing the full capability of their network. It should further be stressed that many DSL providers are moving over to Fiber (15mb down/5mb up) with the option of a three tier package with TV and telephone. The only real complaint I have with this is a battery needed to power what was once a POTS line.

I actually have DSL. I am looking at upgrading to fiber. Its pretty fast where I am located. I get a good signal with around 200 channels. The difference in bandwidth between 480i and 1080i/p is not that substantial. Most networks should be able to carry it.

Still, I have to admit that I do like the concept of getting over the air 1080 television for free and it looks good. When it comes in (and I admit that can be an if) it looks really good. The only real problem is the programming or lack thereof. Broadcast is mostly limited to CBS-ABC-NBC-Fox-WC-PBS and many other variants (and other languages).

I would agree that on-demand is the future. I, however, have seen very little of conventional OD programming that is not movie rentals (in my area). The only exception seems to be big name events (boxing, wrestling, concerts). We have had on demand since about 2004, prior to that it was PPV.

bluarash: I expect that cable will eventually start streaming its channels like U-Verse rather than try to send them all at once. That way they could improve their picture quality and greatly increase their content.

If you look at its current technical limitations, DOCSIS 3.0 can transfer up to 343 Mbit/s downstream and 122 Mbit/s upstream. I don't know how much faster they'll be able to get it, but I don't expect the old telephone line will ever get that high.

The next step is obviously fiber, but so far the only major company that has been running it to homes is Verizon. AT&T (the largest telephone company) has made no effort to start that. With fiber your only limits are the equipment on each side and the speed of light.

The switch to DTV will rid of the "rabbit ears" on TV's, switching over to digital broadcasts only, requiring all owners to have a satellite connection, or digital converter box.

That is utter FUD. The HD signals can be air-broadcast and in many cases people will not need to upgrade their antennas to receive HDTV signals. What IS required is an ASTC tuner.

I'm a little disappointed by this decision.

Shadrack said,
That is utter FUD. The HD signals can be air-broadcast and in many cases people will not need to upgrade their antennas to receive HDTV signals. What IS required is an ASTC tuner.

I'm a little disappointed by this decision.

This is what I was going to post. What's the nonsense about getting rid of the rabbit ears? digital terrestrial is over-the-air. those with "rabbit ears" most like wont need to upgrade the antenna, just plug it in to the digital tuner (presumably an STB) rathern than an analog tuner, obviously.

Oh god, please no! We've been given years to prepare for the transition. We don't need to delay it any further!

Getting rid of the rabbit ears is misleading. to get any channels of note, your still going to need an antenna. and I sure hope they boost the signal whenever that date does come. because only PBS comes in reliably. I've got a Tivax so it's probably not at fault. It's coupled with a powered Terk antenna, although there's another that looks pretty good.

Rabbit ears don't do much when you are near the signal. My tv picks up most oof my analog channels without even having anything pluged in.

Why are people here getting upset about this? Delaying is not going to hurt people since DTV signals have been out for a few years. The coupon program ran out of money so another delay wont hurt anyone if your already have a converter box or a TV with a DTV tuner.

When I was in the UK adverts for DTV were, visit our website to check if you can get the service and just go and buy a box and link it up that all.

In Canada/America adverts are more, if you use are service you don't have to do anything. Media company X offers X number of channels and will continue to support it's customers during the switchover. However everyone else will have to replace your antenna and install a new digital receiver.

Obuma need to stop the coining in by media companys.

Are you kidding me? We've had since the transition was announced in October 2005 to get ready and all TVs made since March 2007 are capable of carrying ATSC signals. Just to clarify BTW, rabbit ears won't go away with the switch to DTV - they'll still pick up the signals.

Troll said,
Just to clarify BTW, rabbit ears won't go away with the switch to DTV - they'll still pick up the signals.

Aye, I picked up on that too. The set-top box goes in between the aerial and the TV, it replaces nothing.

Actually, the converter box would still need at least the "rabbit ears," or a variant of it.
It's either that or a roof-top antenna. Otherwise, the converter box is next to useless.

KevinN206 said,
Actually, the converter box would still need at least the "rabbit ears," or a variant of it.
It's either that or a roof-top antenna. Otherwise, the converter box is next to useless.

oddly my great aunt has a roof top antenna, but can pick up one channel maybe. Course Marshalltown IA isn't exactly near a big city. So I still will have to wonder if there will be signal boosts if even with a roof top antenna, one can't get the channels.

PatrynXX,

If you have an old antenna that may be the reason, new ones are slightly different regardless to whether they look the same and function the same.

This whole thing is ridiculous, how many people don't have cable , satelite or a digital tv already ?!
Not to mention when did TV viewing become a right !?

hkgonra said,
This whole thing is ridiculous, how many people don't have cable , satelite or a digital tv already ?!

People? No data at all. Number of TVs impacted? Wild speculations.

Households? Around 15 million.

The number increases for satellite customers who have secondary televisions that are OTA.

Not to mention when did TV viewing become a right !?

For your child, it has never been a right; it has been a privilege that can be revoked at any time for bad behavior. For the rest of us, I believe it has been a right since the 1940s...television was originally envisioned primarily as a medium for education, news, emergency broadcasts, etc, as well as garbage like reality TV shows...

I don't have cable, satellite, or digital TV, I use the internet for all my TV needs. But I did get a coupon and converter box months ago, but what's the harm in holding off for a month?

You can't shut out the lower income just because they aren't up to date like everyone else

Spartan Erik said,
I don't have cable, satellite, or digital TV, I use the internet for all my TV needs. But I did get a coupon and converter box months ago, but what's the harm in holding off for a month?

You can't shut out the lower income just because they aren't up to date like everyone else

This isn't a knock on lower income. This has been in the works for a long time and ads have been all over the place. If someone is surprised this is happening, then they have never watched TV in the last year or see any ad in major publications because they don't read the paper either.

Besides, with your coupon it costs about $5 - $10 for a converter.

trashpickinman said,
NO! We've had plenty of time to prepare for this. Let's just get it done already.

My argument exactly. We have all known for AT LEAST 4 years, and 1 year running daily on TV commercials. I have had interruptions during TV shows with banners scrolling. It is so stupid that people leave it till the last minute, and we need to suffer because of them.

Exactly, they should switch it off as it was planned. Delaying it will make it worse! as there is no incentive to switch, i.e. why bother switching to digital if your happy with analog and know it's staying longer? They should just do it cold turkey and if people still want to watch TV they'll switch because they have no choice.

We are facing the same problem here in Australia, they keep delaying the analog cutoff because not many people are switching. The thing with analog/digital TV thing is many people don't understand what makes digital better, they are used to and have had analog all their life and don't see the need to replace something that works fine right now. It's like my parents, they still only have analog they don't see what is so special about digital and they don't plan to switch as they see it as a waste of money to upgrade something that is perfectly fine how it is now, which is kinda stupid in a sense that all you need is a set top box and you can keep your existing TV, still you'll be surprised how many people feel this way...

People have known about this for a long time, quit ****ing around and make the change, if people are NOT ready for the switch, its their fault. If they cant keep up after years of notice, then thats not the problem of the rest of the country!!!

Yes it has already started, and 2012 is when it is finished... I think the logic one rather than throwing the whole country into "chaos" in one go, instead if they make a small area change they might have some who don't know about it, but at least then it doesnt end up with thousands going out and trying to buy a new box on the same day. It also then means they will talk about it to their friends/family etc. etc. and people then know its going to happen.