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Digital Switch Most Likely To Be Pushed Back To June 12


Beerman

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http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/6231504.html

 

The U.S. Senate voted to delay next month's transition to digital television until June 12 because some viewers won't be ready for the switch.

 

The voice vote followed a call by President Barack Obama's administration to postpone the Feb. 17 date for major TV stations to stop sending traditional analog signals. Similar legislation awaits action in the House tomorrow.

 

Senator Jay Rockefeller, a West Virginia Democrat who leads the Commerce Committee, said last week he had reached agreement with Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas, the top Republican on the panel, on the legislation. Some Republicans had opposed a delay, saying it would cause confusion by changing a long- planned date.

 

A federal program to subsidize digital equipment some viewers will need has fallen short of funds, and the government last week reported a waiting list of 1.4 million households.

 

More than 6.5 million homes aren't able to receive digital TV programming, the Nielsen Co. said Jan. 22. The figure is a decrease from last month, when Nielsen said almost 8 million couldn't get digital programming.

 

When the transition happens, major TV stations will stop sending traditional analog signals and transmit exclusively in digital. Analog TV sets connected to antennas will need converter boxes to continue receiving signals. Most TV viewers needn't take action because they subscribe to cable or satellite services that will make sure they still get pictures.

 

Obama's transition team called on Jan. 8 for postponing the date. It said poor, elderly and rural Americans face difficulties from the analog cutoff, and pointed to the waiting list at the program that subsidizes digital converter boxes. That effort offers $40 coupons toward the cost of the boxes, which sell for $40 to $80 at retail outlets.

 

The government mandated the change to digital service to raise money by auctioning airwaves used by TV's analog broadcasts, to free spectrum for use by emergency workers and to provide more channels and crisper pictures.

 

Most major TV stations already are sending digital signals alongside their analog stream. Digital signals may be more prone to interference than analog for some viewers.

 

Verizon Communications Inc. and AT&T Inc., which together spent $16 billion for access to the airwaves that will become available after analog TV transmissions cease, have told Congress they could accept a brief delay. The companies plan to offer advanced wireless services including Internet access over the spectrum.

 

 

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Most major TV stations already are sending digital signals alongside their analog stream. Digital signals may be more prone to interference than analog for some viewers.
That's an understatement!!! We get 16 digital channels here. On a clear day, reception is terrible! On a cloudy day, the reception is great. Go figure!
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I think once again it's just a matter of us Americans putting things off till the last minute.

 

If you haven't gotten ready that's your fault.This thing has been announced for quite some time.

I think the government should just let it happen and when people don't have tv then they just might do something.

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I think once again it's just a matter of us Americans putting things off till the last minute.

 

If you haven't gotten ready that's your fault.This thing has been announced for quite some time.

I think the government should just let it happen and when people don't have tv then they just might do something.

I think the gov. should let the recession happen and quit spending my money to fix other peoples stupidity! There, I said it. My business is hurting but no one is offering me a handout and I'm dealing with it.

Most of these people use the economy as an excuse for pushing this back but I recall reading years ago that the date was originally suppose to be 2010 and they pushed it forward.

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According to a local engineer . . . all my local stations are cutting their analog transmission on the 17th regardless. FWIW, there is currently an option to do so even before the 17th and many stations around the country have already done just that including Hawai'i. Delaying will just add to the confusion.

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According to a local engineer . . . all my local stations are cutting their analog transmission on the 17th regardless. FWIW, there is currently an option to do so even before the 17th and many stations around the country have already done just that including Hawai'i. Delaying will just add to the confusion.

 

You might want to ask your engineer friend if people in rural areas who currently receive a marginal analog signal will be able to get digital tv. The engineer I talked to said ..... no way.

 

I guess it'll be satellite tv or radio for a lot of people. The 'networks' might find themselves without a lot of viewers.......

 

A lot of people argue that no tv might actually be a good thing. :)

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I am in a challenged rural situation but am able to get excellent reception. A good antenna will work wonders. Over on AVS forum there are people getting a digital signal 75-100 miles from the towers. That being said, yes, there are remote areas that won't be able to pull in anything.

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According to a local engineer . . . all my local stations are cutting their analog transmission on the 17th regardless. FWIW, there is currently an option to do so even before the 17th and many stations around the country have already done just that including Hawai'i. Delaying will just add to the confusion.

One of the local stations was talking about the possible delay in the required cutover to all digital transmission on the news last night, and they said the same thing, that if the rules Congress put out allowed them to drop analog transmission on February 17th, they would.

 

It's interesting that for the most part our digital reception is good, and actually on one channel we get much better digital reception than analog reception, but on one of our better analog channels, the digital signal is weak enough that the picture cuts out fairly regularly.

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. . . but on one of our better analog channels, the digital signal is weak enough that the picture cuts out fairly regularly.

The signal will likely improve after analog is gone. Some stations are now running digital at low power and will only be able to increase power after the shutoff. Some stations also will be moving antennas to a different place on their towers and/or rebuilding them in the process.

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I live in a rural area that is hard to pickup OTA signals from Albuquerque because of the mountains.

We have translators on a mountaintop that relay the signal so people can pick it up.

The way I understand it,these signals will not be cut off,regardless of the date.

Of course,I don't really care because I have satellite tv...lol.The signal,even from the translator is sketchy at best.

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I just read somewhere last week that no matter what was decided, a large number of stations will (and legally can) switch anyway so regardless of the extra time, there will be some who will only be able to access a smaller number of channels.

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I just read somewhere last week that no matter what was decided, a large number of stations will (and legally can) switch anyway so regardless of the extra time, there will be some who will only be able to access a smaller number of channels.

 

They have to get FCC permission to switch now, though.

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I just read somewhere last week that no matter what was decided, a large number of stations will (and legally can) switch anyway so regardless of the extra time, there will be some who will only be able to access a smaller number of channels.

I hope that is the case.

 

I adopt Terry's position in post no. 4.

 

The article I cited included the following:

"It's clear that the only way to avoid a massive disruption affecting 5.7 percent of the TV viewing public is to delay the transition and provide the funding to assure that, when it occurs, it occurs smoothly."

 

Give me a break; anyone paying the least bit of attention should have been well familiar w/ the deadline, and they could've gotten the converter boxes if that's what they needed to still see television. I just hope that, come June, "2.9 percent (down from 5.7) of the TV viewing public" will not still be facing "a massive disruption" unless its postponed another 4 months ....

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Most of the local stations here are switching anyway and they are making it very clear with tests almost everyday during the 6pm News cast.

 

I also think that percentage is most likely a lot higher than 5.7%. Especially in rural areas where they don't have cable and can't afford satellite.

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The setup over here is that they started digital in parallel with analogue - but put a deadline in YEARS - the theory being that when the final switch-off from analogue occurs, the TV sets will be well on their way to the scrapheap ;)

 

All new sets coming out for the past few years have been HDTV ready and over here the deadline is 2012 :lol:

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Most of the local stations here are switching anyway and they are making it very clear with tests almost everyday during the 6pm News cast.

 

I also think that percentage is most likely a lot higher than 5.7%. Especially in rural areas where they don't have cable and can't afford satellite.

I suspect you're right, as stated. I think the 5.7% is an overall average, but the concentration is in the rural areas without access to cable (myself included) or those unable to pay, or unwilling to pay, or uninterested in paying for satellite (also, myself included). But, I do have my converter box. And my in-laws (who do have satellite) also have their converter box so they can continue to receive the local OTA stations.

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