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Obama Suggest A Delay In Digital Transition


Beerman

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http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28562781/

WASHINGTON - President-elect Barack Obama is urging Congress to postpone the Feb. 17 switch from analog to digital television broadcasting, arguing that too many Americans who rely on analog TV sets to pick up over-the-air channels won't be ready.

 

In a letter to key lawmakers Thursday, Obama transition team co-chair John Podesta noted that the Commerce Department has run out of money for coupons to subsidize digital TV converter boxes for consumers. People who don't have cable or satellite service or a new TV with a digital tuner will need the converter boxes to keep their older analog sets working.

 

Obama officials are also concerned that the government is not doing enough to help consumers — particularly poor, rural and elderly Americans — prepare for and navigate the transition.

 

"With coupons unavailable, support and education insufficient, and the most vulnerable Americans exposed, I urge you to consider a change to the legislatively mandated analog cutoff date," Podesta wrote.

 

Congress required that broadcasters switch from analog to digital broadcasts, which are more efficient, to free up valuable chunks of wireless spectrum. The newly available room in the airwaves can be used for commercial wireless services and for emergency-response networks.

 

Podesta's letter went to the top Democrats and Republicans on the Senate and House Commerce committees. Congress mandated the Feb. 17 changeover and would have to pass a new law to postpone the date.

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Seems to me that everyone has had ample time to make a change, but on the other hand with our financial status all over the country the way it is and people out of work, lost homes, and other problems, there are probably many that just don't have the $$ to make a change to a new digital TV or for that matter to buy one of the boxes that are required if you still have one of the old analog ones.

 

Frank...

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Over here they actually run both simultaneously (the full changeover isn't due in Belfast until about 2012 so there's more than enough leeway to replace a dying TV set) and we can get both analogue and digital concurrently until then, but again, digital boxes are very cheap (about 20 sterling) - I got a dual tuner one with a space for an old IDE hard drive) for 40

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Without a coupon, those conversion boxes cost around $69 a piece here. That's a lot of money for some people and they are running out of money for the two $40 coupons. And even with the coupon, $29 or $48 is a lot of money for folk to wire up tvs when they're worried about where their next meal is coming from. And if you've got more than 2 old tvs.......

 

Several months ago, you could get the coupons, but they didn't have the conversion boxes and the coupons expired in 90 days. And you can't reorder them because they don't have a tracking system and there's no way to return them for reissue. So if you ordered early and couldn't find a box, you're out of luck.

 

Installing the box is another problem because many people haven't a clue how to do it.

 

So I tend to agree. Many people aren't going to be ready for the switch.

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I ordered two of those $40 coupons back sometime in early 2008. They finally arrived and both were good only till July 2008. Well thinking someone I knew might need or want them and when I couldn't find any one that did, I let them expire. I wonder if somehow someone might still be able to use them (Thinking some local business might still accept them---huh--maybe ???).

 

I guess I should have asked on the forum, but wasn't sure if they were transferrable or not.

 

Frank...

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I ordered two of those $40 coupons back sometime in early 2008. They finally arrived and both were good only till July 2008. Well thinking someone I knew might need or want them and when I couldn't find any one that did, I let them expire. I wonder if somehow someone might still be able to use them (Thinking some local business might still accept them---huh--maybe ???).

 

I guess I should have asked on the forum, but wasn't sure if they were transferrable or not.

 

Frank...

I think they're going to reissue the ones that have expired and not been redeemed, but they're not quite sure how to do that. They don't want to reissue ones that have been redeemed at stores.

 

Some of the local agencies that serve the retired or underpriviledged are urging people who don't need their coupons to order them and give them to the agencies so that they can buy the converters at reduced prices.

 

I'm not sure how that's going to work now that they're running out of money for the coupons.

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I think they're going to reissue the ones that have expired and not been redeemed, but they're not quite sure how to do that. They don't want to reissue ones that have been redeemed at stores.

 

Some of the local agencies that serve the retired or underpriviledged are urging people who don't need their coupons to order them and give them to the agencies so that they can buy the converters at reduced prices.

 

I'm not sure how that's going to work now that they're running out of money for the coupons.

 

I heard on the news tonight, that if you apply for the "coupons" now, you will be put on a waiting list. :(

 

My daughter needs 2 of them. :(

 

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I heard on the news tonight, that if you apply for the "coupons" now, you will be put on a waiting list. :(

 

My daughter needs 2 of them. :(

 

Boy, I'm really sorry Bruce that I didn't keep the ones I had, that expired in July 2008. But thinking they would be N.G. I tossed them away....My mistake or I would gladly send them to you.

 

Frank...

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Boy, I'm really sorry Bruce that I didn't keep the ones I had, that expired in July 2008. But thinking they would be N.G. I tossed them away....My mistake or I would gladly send them to you.

 

Frank...

 

I had 2 that expired in July 2008, also. I was going to pick up 2 converters, in case my daughter, or someone else needed one, and there were no converters, in my area, to be found.

 

I let them expire. :(

 

Edited to change year to 2008.

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I had 2 that expired in July 2009, also. I was going to pick up 2 converters, in case my daughter, or someone else needed one, and there were no converters, in my area, to be found.

 

I let them expire. :(

 

I assume you mean July "2008". That was one of my questions Bruce, if these expired coupons can be reused again but based on the posts in this thread, I'm still not sure.

 

Frank...

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I assume you mean July "2008". That was one of my questions Bruce, if these expired coupons can be reused again but based on the posts in this thread, I'm still not sure.

 

Frank...

 

Yes, I meant 2008 and edited my post. I would think, that since when the "credit card" coupons are used, whoever the retailer of the converters is, gets a refund on those cards.

 

The government should have a good idea of how many are left, that haven't expired yet, and how many there are, that weren't used, and have expired. They could reissue cards, for the expired ones, but it looks like they are out of money, anyway.

 

The gov. should feel bad about being out of money. So am I. :)

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Everything you need to know about CECBs (Coupon Eligible Converter Boxes). I can tell you the the station engineers are very much looking forward to stopping their analog transmission so they can concentrate on digital. Only then will digital really work like it should and at full power.

Sure they are because they see $$$$. A chance to fool the public into spending more money when the public isn't familiar with what's going on.

New Orleans is a poor city and that's why the local cable company has promised to carry analog to those without converters that use 'regular' cable for an extra year "or so". Those that live in the boonies and have only analog will suffer the most but here, they have made it very public about what and when things are going to happen so lack of info isn't an excuse. Money is.

I heard yesterday that the coupon system ran out of money and they don't know if they can fund it anymore.

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This from the official website: https://www.dtv2009.gov/WaitingList.aspx (the 'bolding' is mine)

 

"The TV Converter Box Coupon Program has reached its funding ceiling. However, coupon requests from eligible households will be filled on a first-come-first-served basis as funds become available from expiring coupons. You will not receive coupons until funds becomes available. If you would like to apply for a coupon today and are eligible, you will be placed on a waiting list.

 

If you choose to apply for your coupons today and are eligible, you will receive a reference number. You can use this reference number to return to this website periodically and check the status of your request. The website will be updated if funding becomes available, and the mailing date for your coupons will be updated at that time.

 

Consumers who have an analog TV and rely on a rooftop antenna or rabbit ears to receive their programs are encouraged to take action to ensure at least one TV in their home is prepared for the digital television transition. You may:

 

  • Purchase a TV converter box without a coupon;
  • Buy a TV with a digital tuner, or;
  • Subscribe to cable, satellite or another pay service. "
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Sure they are because they see $$$$. A chance to fool the public into spending more money when the public isn't familiar with what's going on.

The stations may save some $$$ but more importantly, they won't have to babysit their analog transmission and therefore will have more manpower to concentrate on getting digital working properly - right now there are warts in transmission. Many stations will be moving antennas and upping their power too after analog goes byebye.

 

The only ones trying to fool the public into spending more $$$ are cable and satellite services.

 

Some people will NEVER be ready - the perpetual procrastinators. I've known about the conversion for years and got my first converter in April. I have no sympathy for those who are brain dead.

 

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I have no sympathy for those who are brain dead.

 

I don't think it's a matter of being brain dead.

 

It's a matter of people not having the money to buy the converter boxes or having the ability to hook them up. Plus a friend who has one says that you have to 'rescan' occasionally for new digital channels which will be a problem for those who don't understand the process.

 

We have an 80+ year old friend who is smart, but not tech savy.

 

She had a friend hook up the tv, but I had to go in and delete all channels except ch 3 for the digital converter on her tv. Now all she has to do is turn on the tv and then use the remote for the digital converter box. She just couldn't get the concept that you couldn't use the tv remote to select the digital channels on the tv.

 

And whoever designed that tiny little remotes for the digital converter box obviously didn't have the visually impaired on their radar.

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