AfterDawn: Tech news

Obama wants to delay digital TV

Written by Matti Vähäkainu (Google+) @ 09 Jan 2009 9:02 User comments (32)

Obama wants to delay digital TV In six weeks, February 17th, the US is scheduled to switch to digital TV transmissions. However, it might as well not happen if the suggestions of President-elect Barack Obama and his transition team are followed. The co-chairman of Obama's transition team John Podesta addressed the switch program and requested a delay. According to The New York Times blog TV Decoder Podesta said that funding of the transition has been "inadequate".
In addition to consumers, major television companies are ready to back up or consider the delay. NBC and ABC support the delay as well as PBS which is afraid that due to insufficient coupons some of the children would no longer have access to free educational shows such as their Sesame Street. CBS has informed that they are willing to consider the suggestion.

In December Nielsen Media Research released a report which estimated that 7.8 million US over-the-air households haven't upgraded for digital television. The converter coupon program has run out of coupons and the waiting list is getting longer. Podesta estimates that the waiting list, with currently over one million requests, could grow by hundreds of thousands every day. According to NY Times, Obama's economic recovery package would include additional funds to digital TV transition.

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32 user comments

19.1.2009 9:21

Quote:
PBS which is afraid that due to insufficient coupons some of the children would no longer have access to free educational shows such as their Sesame Street.

You know what this means? Kids won't be able to watch TV every moment of their spare time. They might have to start playing with REAL toys, or spend time with their families, or (OMG) have to actually GO OUTSIDE to play, which means interaction with the neighbours! Oh the humanity...

29.1.2009 9:49

Is there anything - and I do mean anything on this earth, that a politician can't **** up?

39.1.2009 9:49

Come on people how long have you had to prepare for this change over ? How long have you had to sign up for a coupon before they ran out? And then for a "New" president to come in and say hey I think we should wait, something that has been in motion this long, don't give him that kind of power to do that.

49.1.2009 10:01

Quote:
Quote:
PBS which is afraid that due to insufficient coupons some of the children would no longer have access to free educational shows such as their Sesame Street.

You know what this means? Kids won't be able to watch TV every moment of their spare time. They might have to start playing with REAL toys, or spend time with their families, or (OMG) have to actually GO OUTSIDE to play, which means interaction with the neighbours! Oh the humanity...
Worst of all they might actually have to .......... READ!!!!! AHHHHHHHH

59.1.2009 10:56

Delay won't hurt anything on this one but everybody has to whine about something, might as well be this.

69.1.2009 10:58

This is insane! I believe this is the THIRD time that the digital transition will be delayed if this goes through. New televisions have been required to have a digital tuner for some time now. The transition only applies to those with older analog televisions, or HDTVs manufactured before the digital tuner mandate went into effect (hence one of my TV's is a victim of this.)

I've had this feeling in the back of my mind that when next month arrives, thousands of people will be crying wolf, though the information has been annoyingly scrolled across my screen for the better part of a year. If you were so ignorant to ignore the warning signs, then too bad.

As for PBS, they have larger fish to fry. The real issue for BOTH of my "local" PBS stations (one each in two different directions, 30 miles away) is that their broadcast signal is not strong enough for digital reception. I can still pick up their analog signal with an outdoor OTA antenna, but the digital/HD channels suffer from heavy pixelation.

I say that this transition needs to stay on schedule. I think it will force some of these TV stations to finally get with the times. I remember not having a local FOX station until the NFL package moved to the network; this same local station does not broadcast in HD. If enough people were to upgrade their boob-tubes, maybe the complaints will multiply and escalate into action!

79.1.2009 11:47
atomicxl
Inactive

They need to make this happen. They've been offering coupons for like 2 years now. If you haven't gotten one yet its because you're a natural procrastinator. As a natural procrastinator you're probably used to getting burned every now and then because you waited till the last minute to do something.

The switch needs to happen. As far as Sooner26c... are you actually knocking Seaseme Street and other PBS kids shows as if they feed poison to children? This isn't power rangers or some other crap, this is educational tv shows. They aren't as evil as you make them out to be.

89.1.2009 12:16

TV is a luxury, not a necessity. It's a luxury that probably close to 100% of the working population can afford. Children can be educated in many other ways. PBS is not evil. It's a nice thought and has good intentions, and is probably considered a beacon of light to a lot of people as an alternative to most crap. It's just not necessary, just as any form of television is not really necessary. Who cares about this? People who feel they need it.

99.1.2009 12:39

Originally posted by atomicxl:
As far as Sooner26c... are you actually knocking Seaseme Street and other PBS kids shows as if they feed poison to children? This isn't power rangers or some other crap, this is educational tv shows. They aren't as evil as you make them out to be.

Atomicxl, I'm not knocking Seasme Street and never meant to insinuate that it was evil; I regularly watched it and The Electric Company. PBS was given as an example and I just used it as a synecdoche to represent all childrens programming.
Now in addition (OT), has anyone else noticed how Obama is acting like he has already been seated as President and that everobody is going along, validating his premature assumption of Presidential authority?

109.1.2009 12:43

Quote:
Originally posted by atomicxl:
As far as Sooner26c... are you actually knocking Seaseme Street and other PBS kids shows as if they feed poison to children? This isn't power rangers or some other crap, this is educational tv shows. They aren't as evil as you make them out to be.

....(OT), has anyone else noticed how Obama is acting like he has already been seated as President and that everobody is going along, validating his premature assumption of Presidential authority?
Meh....he's just beating his chest a little to give everyone who voted for him a warm fuzzy. Par for the course.

119.1.2009 12:45

I'm still pretty confused about exactly when the coupons ran out. I remember reading on the coupon website that you needed to order them before Jan 1st, and that they would mail out on the 16th. I ordered mine on December 28th. Never got any emails or notices that my coupons weren't coming.

I wasn't planning on getting a Digital Box. Just I moved into this apartment and I refuse to pay anything more than $5 a month for cable tv, seems like it's closer to $50 a month. I just don't watch enough tv to warrant paying for it. I wasn't even going to bring my tv here but my gf wanted it here, so I got it, and now I get 4 spanish channels and 3 english channels.

129.1.2009 14:17

Originally posted by attar:
Is there anything - and I do mean anything on this earth, that a politician can't **** up?
At this point, i'm going to say NO, there isn't.

139.1.2009 14:19

Obama needs a nice hot cup of STFU. If he is so for "change", what the F is he yapping his mouth about? People need to get with the program as far as the switch goes.

Too bad we dont have a refund policy on the Elect.

149.1.2009 14:20

Everyone who should need a converter box should have gotten one already.

A few Days ago one channel i saw had actually turned it on to see who did and who didnt have DTV, they should do that for a whole day, so people who want to watch TV go out and get one.

159.1.2009 14:48

Obviously coupons didn't get as far as the trailer parks in the Carolinas by the sound of things - can't let poor 16 year old Wanda and her two kids miss out on Sesame Street while granpaw and granma go out in their Honda Civic to collect the family benefits for the day

169.1.2009 17:00

Obamha is not off on a good start or he could do what any other politician would do and blame the old govt before him and the state of the American economy the other guy left it in.

179.1.2009 17:59

The transition was scheduled to happen several years ago and has been delayed numerous times. The people who have dragged their feet up until now will probably still be dragging their feet no matter when the transition happens. Obama loses points in my book on this. Let's get on with it!

189.1.2009 18:42
Globe08
Inactive

Originally posted by borhan9:
Obamha is not off on a good start or he could do what any other politician would do and blame the old govt before him and the state of the American economy the other guy left it in.
Agree 100%, this is much of the reason our political system while better than some others is still a joke.

199.1.2009 19:29

The best part of this transition is the fact that alot of the nation (like me) CANNOT access DTV OTA signals due to the fact that the signal is too weak where we live... Great job! Thank you, the government f's up again...

209.1.2009 20:56

@Sooner26c

Quote:
...synecdoche...
Nice one! I actually had to look that up! You don't see shit like that on Electric Company.

[Shadowed profile left] "Synec-" "-Doche"[Shadowed Profile Right]

[Shadow profiles together] "Synecdoche"
---Chikn

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synecdoche

2111.1.2009 8:33

God, can this idiot (Obama) get a friggin clue... seriously, it's going to be 4 years of this moronic mentality.

2214.1.2009 13:05
Chieffy
Inactive

Originally posted by Dapsone:
God, can this idiot (Obama) get a friggin clue... seriously, it's going to be 4 years of this moronic mentality.
Like the LAST 8 years of moronic mentality was soooooooo much better?!?!?!?!

While I agree with most, f*ck everyone who drug their feet, push on and force everyone to catch up!! But let's be honest, that is a problem in this country. Most everyone here has said, more or less, "f*ck everyone else, I want what I want and I want it now!!!!!"

The real funny thing is, if you are this mad about TV not going digital....what kind of life do you really have, how much of a fat ass are you really??? Maybe it's time for some of you to put them Twinkies and chips down and go OUTSIDE WITH YOUR KIDS!!!!

Kids learn a lot by example.....what kind of example are you?

2316.1.2009 16:04

Quote:
Originally posted by Dapsone:
God, can this idiot (Obama) get a friggin clue... seriously, it's going to be 4 years of this moronic mentality.
Like the LAST 8 years of moronic mentality was soooooooo much better?!?!?!?!

While I agree with most, f*ck everyone who drug their feet, push on and force everyone to catch up!! But let's be honest, that is a problem in this country. Most everyone here has said, more or less, "f*ck everyone else, I want what I want and I want it now!!!!!"

The real funny thing is, if you are this mad about TV not going digital....what kind of life do you really have, how much of a fat ass are you really??? Maybe it's time for some of you to put them Twinkies and chips down and go OUTSIDE WITH YOUR KIDS!!!!

Kids learn a lot by example.....what kind of example are you?
I could not have said it better myself. While yes, politicians can f**k things up, THAT is not the real issue here. The economy is so totally screwed right now I hardly think that TELEVISION is what is important. Get a life people. I haven't had cable in 8 years & I am FINE with it. Our parents used to tell us that TV rots your brain. Well it sure seems to be all that everyone cares about. "I HAVE TO HAVE MY PRECIOUS TV!!!!" It's like a f88king goddamn addiction. Get a life, get off your fat asses & go DO something for a change. TV is not that important. The REAL issues, like getting the econpmy back on track, getting to be energy independent, getting EDUCATION to our children as well as young adults attending college...THESE are the things that are important. NOT F**KING TELEVISION.

As far as Obama goes, well he's doing what he thinks is neccesary & right. Bush was the biggest F88K up mistake I have EVER seen in this country & he screwed every single one of us. Obama is exactly what we need, if he can manage to clean up Bush's royal f**k up of a countrywide mess.

2416.1.2009 19:56
ericg8
Inactive

Read between the lines. Broadcast TV wants to buy time, so they donate some money and bam! There it is.

Turn off the TV and get a life, people!

2517.1.2009 3:13

Some of you do not seem to grasp the problem with the Digital conversion that others are having.

I am an electronics technician and have a 50 ft mast on my current TV antenna equipped with a rotor.
I said that just so you know I can easily connect a digital box & wire an antenna.
Early on, I ran out and purchased a Digital conversion box in prep for the Digital change.
Upon arriving home, I hooked it up & discovered I could only receive 3 channels.... one of which has significant avalanche problems.
None of the channels I received are any of the major channels which I currently enjoy.
I got a Spanish channel, some church channel & a 24 hour a day advertisement channel! Basically all useless to me.
Last week, I have visited the (Antenna Web org) web site and discovered they say I have NO coverage in my area. So, I guess I'm doing good to get 2 solid channels, which I can't stand to use.

What you and the politicians which foisted this crap upon us.. do not seem to realize is the digital stations are not friendly to those who live away from major metropolitan areas.
Analog signals are prone to ghosting & static but I can live with that because at least I can watch the picture and hear it even if it is not crisp.
A Digital signal is a whole another beast though... it is an ALL or Nothing proposition. Either you get a terrific signal or you get nothing at all.
For many of us who do not reside in or directly surrounding a major city... we either do not receive any thing or we get very very few useable channels.
In my case... I will not be able to receive the local news any more because that is only broadcast by the major networks of which I cannot receive a signal.

This whole situation was never about providing a better signal to the public anyway...
It was all about money..
Analog broadcasts take up a wide bandwidth and only so much bandwidth is available for TV broadcasts.... So only a few broadcast licenses could be sold in any given area.
Digital broadcasts however are narrow bandwidth so a lot more licenses can be sold in the same allocated broadcast spectrum.
More licenses sold equals more money for the government who sells them.
In reality... we were all pawns in this game being played...
They (the government) rake in the big money selling a lot of licenses while you & I must upgrade to digital (buying new Digital TV sets or conversion boxes) which costs us a lot of money.
Who wins?
The winners are the government and the political pacs that in this case I strongly suspect all sell electronic equipment directly associated with the new digital TV technology.
Who loses?
People like me who refuse to pay for TV broadcasts and who live outside the digital broadcast reception areas.
Remember... Cable originally was sold under the guise that you didn't have to put up with commercials... but look at what you get now... you pay for the service, get a shit load of useless channels & still have to watch commercials!

2618.1.2009 10:01

Only high power stations are required to go digital. Low power stations and repeaters will remain analog -- which means your old TV will still pick them up and if you live in a rural area your DTV converter box needs to have analog passthrough

2720.1.2009 11:11

attar - NOTHING

Obama will take care of who helped him get elected. TV goes not want to lose customers due to the conversion. The RIAA already has one of their boys in White House in the justice dept. That is why they have stopped litigation. They will make laws putting the P2P users in jail. That will jump start the echonomy. At least he didn't screw that one up. That ought to put trillions into the echonomy. - as I said before NOTHING!

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