AfterDawn: Tech news

U.S. Congress approves DTV-switch delay

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 04 Feb 2009 19:36 User comments (29)

U.S. Congress approves DTV-switch delay The U.S. House of Representatives has approved a bill that seeks to delay the transition to all-digital television broadcasts in the United States until June 12th. The 264-158 vote delays the planned switchover from the original February 17th date. The delay, opposed by most Republicans, is supported by President Obama as up to 20 million households are thought to be unprepared for the transition.
Around 13 million people hold expired coupons to subsidize the cost of a digital converter box, which is needed for households with analog televisions after the switch. Millions of requests for coupons are currently pending as the supply has run out under demand. Those thought to be mostly affected by the switch are poor, elderly and rural households.

"We believe it is irresponsible to ask mostly rural, or elderly consumers to reach into their own pockets to deal with this transition when many folks, including the federal government, are making a profit," said Joel Kelsey, a policy analyst at Consumers Union. The U.S. Government raised about $19 billion from companies bidding for use of the vacated spectrum. Qualcomm, for example, paid $550 million to use the spectrum for its mobile video service. It was opposed to the delay.

Opponents to the delay claim it will feed confusion after millions of dollars have been spent by both the government and private companies to advertise the February 17th plan. U.S. television stations can opt to switch to digital early if they notify the public and the Federal Communication Commission (FCC), but industry sources think it is unlikely many stations will choose this option for competitive reasons, especially with "sweeps weak" in March being so important from an advertiser's perspective.

Previous Next  

29 user comments

14.2.2009 19:41

Oh gosh, I can only imagine the loads of responses that are going to be posted. So let me the first one to say, S.O.B.!

24.2.2009 19:57

rural consumers will be lucky to get a signal. i live in the foot hills. 45 mins from sacramento california and the digital signal sucks hard.

34.2.2009 20:27

no one cares

44.2.2009 20:44

We got our coupons and converter boxes a year ago, then our kids got us a proper HDTV set last Christmas. We are on broadcast TV. We can get all the HD stations in our area, though there are digital artifacts on one because of a weak signal (we had to forgo a televised concert of Pink Floyd because the artifacts were so bad). I have had to revisit the outdoor antenna installation techniques, like how to stack UHF antennas, learned from living out in the country in my earlier days. I do admit, the converter boxes are quite clumsy and awkward and could pose problems for the "technologically challenged"; I am always having to help family members work the remote for the converter box set.

54.2.2009 21:47

It's not the federal government
that's making money from the deal,
it's the liberal bureaucrats who are
holding out for more money for
themselves so they can squander it
on more pork.
The whole DTV transition thing
could have been planned out
a little better from the beginning.
If it had, there would not have
been a need to delay the transition.
If the idea first started out
under the Clinton presidency,
it was not widely promoted until
the late going. It was one of the
best kept secrets in recent history.
It was only in the past year or two
that the announcement was made public.
Another 'Oh, by the way...- surprise!'
Even the converter box makers
were caught off guard.
Early generation DTV converters
were mostly of poor grade and way
overpriced. Better models are coming
out now and the competition is
starting to heat up.
Pity though, in a couple of years
most of those highly coveted
converter boxes will end up
in garage sales, flea markets,
or on the curbside, when folks buy
new TV's with digital tuners.
Much ado about nothing? Maybe.
A liitle more advance warning
would have been nice!

64.2.2009 22:24

Originally posted by cazer:
rural consumers will be lucky to get a signal. i live in the foot hills. 45 mins from sacramento california and the digital signal sucks hard.
If the switch date had stuck, you would probably get the digital signal where you live. Once the analog signal is off, most if not all stations are bumping their digital signal to 100% -- currently the stations are at 50-60% running both digital and analog due to the power cost of running both signals.

Now, unless the Sacramento stations (like hundreds of others) kill the analog signal on Feb 17th, you'll have to wait until June to see if the full wattage signal reaches you.

Nice job Democrats.

74.2.2009 22:57

Maybe more stations should do full
power tests on select days to see if
viewers in deep fringe areas can get
high quality reception.
If not, how would repeaters come into play?
Instead of having one big transmitting
tower which is needed for analog TV,
digital television broadcasting can
be done on a widely scattered network of
smaller repeater towers because of the
nature of multicasting several subchannels
on a smaller single bandwidth. And each
repeater tower could handle several digital
primary channels simultaneously because of
modulation and encoding techniques.
That's how they do it with cell phones.
I believe the new terminology is EVDO,
or 'EVolution Data Optimized'.

85.2.2009 0:00

This is definitely going to cause problems and confusion. Still, I'm happy for all these people who can get their converter boxes now.

95.2.2009 0:40

Originally posted by 21Q:
This is definitely going to cause problems and confusion. Still, I'm happy for all these people who can get their converter boxes now.
Agreed, there is no rush here as all the local channels are already transmitting Digital alongside Analog.

105.2.2009 3:57

This is totally asinine. A PBS spokesperson recently stated that it would cost them $22 million dollars for them to keep their analog signals until June 12. So this is where the taxpayer's money is going to? Wasteful spending is not helping out the recession, and certainly isn't helping the country as a whole. It's as simple as that.

115.2.2009 7:17

If people havent already got their boxes for this, then they never will. Its been 2 years coming.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 05 Feb 2009 @ 7:18

125.2.2009 8:25

WTF, this stinks... Going to be funny when there are STILL 20 million not ready for the switch in june.

135.2.2009 8:45

CNN.com poll currently has those that disagree with the bill's passage at 60%.

The public obviously didn't want this. This is more pork, plain and simple. We (taxpayers) lose once again. Just another example that politicians are out for their own self interest, not the best interest of the taxpayers. So much for change in Washington.

145.2.2009 10:43

*plays imperial march*

Reason and peace is lost when order becomes inept to placate efficiency.... and villainy.

155.2.2009 13:41

Originally posted by baritony:
If people havent already got their boxes for this, then they never will. Its been 2 years coming.
longer than that isnt it? thought it was suppose to happen in like 06 or 07?

165.2.2009 16:47
Chieffy
Inactive

Quote:
Originally posted by baritony:
If people havent already got their boxes for this, then they never will. Its been 2 years coming.
longer than that isnt it? thought it was suppose to happen in like 06 or 07?
Try near the end of the Clinton administration.....

175.2.2009 16:59

Quote:
Quote:
Originally posted by baritony:
If people havent already got their boxes for this, then they never will. Its been 2 years coming.
longer than that isnt it? thought it was suppose to happen in like 06 or 07?
Try near the end of the Clinton administration.....
God help us all then, we will never be ready if we havent been ready for the last 8 yrs.

185.2.2009 20:25

Getting back to one of my earlier posts-
DTV repeaters wouldn't require the
construction of more towers to clutter
the landscape, but they could share
space on already existing radio and
TV broadcast, and cell phone towers.
Also, a 'live' digital TV broadcast
wouldn't be 'real time' like analog,
but would require a few seconds for
the receiver to decode and process
the information before displaying it
to the viewers. Like streaming video
on the internet viewed by computer.

196.2.2009 10:01

The whole premise is insane. Why don't we just double my taxes and buy every lazy slob on welfare cable and a digital TV? Oh, wait, you'll already raise my taxes to 80% after this "stimulus" bill. Oh, now I see why we need to need to keep the brainwashing main stream media in the houses of people who don't pay for TV. Gotta keep them complacent while we raise the cost of goods sothey can't even buy food.

206.2.2009 18:49

anyone know why we have so many representatives and only 50 states?

Limit it to 2 regions per state and 1 congressmen...also...lobbying=treason....

217.2.2009 9:13

Originally posted by cazer:
rural consumers will be lucky to get a signal. i live in the foot hills. 45 mins from sacramento california and the digital signal sucks hard.
in city ain't no better.... I live second floor in chicago around a number of 3 and 4 story bldgs

cbs station is 8 miles south of me but the signal doesn't get to me
(berwin red line exit if Channel 2 is reading this) NOT AT ALL

but the other stations are worse.... every time the EL (red line elevated train) comes into station the signal of all the channels goes out so every three(rush hours) to fifteen(night owl) minutes there are not one but two trains that interrupt the signal for 30-60 seconds each

sure there is snow with the analogue signal but at least you can still tell what is going on.... I watch more TV from p2p sharing that the crap coming on digital.... and that means no ad revenue, aw boo-hoo, I don't get to see the ads :(

227.2.2009 9:18

Originally posted by etinkerer:
... Maybe.
A liitle more advance warning
would have been nice!
I knew 20 years ago this was going to happen and was against it then because I knew the trouble it would be.... but
I didn't know the lack of redundancy would be so devastating that I would thank God for snowy pictures

237.2.2009 9:32

Originally posted by ZippyDSM:
anyone know why we have so many representatives and only 50 states?

Limit it to 2 regions per state and 1 congressmen...also...lobbying=treason....
go back to civics class

the house is comprised of reps according to population of the various states

the senate IS dividing the states into two regions each, not geographic, but time regions, one senator from each time period every 2 or 4 years for a six year term

247.2.2009 9:51

Quote:
Originally posted by ZippyDSM:
anyone know why we have so many representatives and only 50 states?

Limit it to 2 regions per state and 1 congressmen...also...lobbying=treason....
go back to civics class

the house is comprised of reps according to population of the various states

the senate IS dividing the states into two regions each, not geographic, but time regions, one senator from each time period every 2 or 4 years for a six year term
Sorry mind wandered, think I might confused regional representatives with the house..... that or confused mew bwians with kitty litter again... :P

257.2.2009 12:18

this duo system was a compromise that prevented the North from automatically over ruling the south on key issues of the day (mainly slavery at the time) with the representative for every "x" citizens as seen in the house of representatives(North outnumbered South citizen count definitively) while at the same time gave the prorated representation that Parliament proved didn't help representation of the people, by the people, for the people

until civil war, new states were added in pairs, one North and one South, to keep balance on slavery issue

now that the Left Coast is attracting so many people Senate prevents the demolition of our rights by a few extreamists Iowa having the same weight at California

now that the judges are finally returning to their role of interpreting law (instead of the recent trend of CREATING LAW) the asst MAFiaa's are being returned to their various holes in the muck although still kicking and screaming in true leftist style

267.2.2009 16:15

Originally posted by qazwiz:
this duo system was a compromise that prevented the North from automatically over ruling the south on key issues of the day (mainly slavery at the time) with the representative for every "x" citizens as seen in the house of representatives(North outnumbered South citizen count definitively) while at the same time gave the prorated representation that Parliament proved didn't help representation of the people, by the people, for the people

until civil war, new states were added in pairs, one North and one South, to keep balance on slavery issue

now that the Left Coast is attracting so many people Senate prevents the demolition of our rights by a few extreamists Iowa having the same weight at California

now that the judges are finally returning to their role of interpreting law (instead of the recent trend of CREATING LAW) the asst MAFiaa's are being returned to their various holes in the muck although still kicking and screaming in true leftist style

Laws either get approved or dismissed, there is no "creating".

That's up to congress and things like the patriot act :P

279.2.2009 4:12

Originally posted by ZippyDSM:

Laws either get approved or dismissed, there is no "creating".

That's up to congress and things like the patriot act :P
so easy to see your left side....

court ordered busing was a judicial fiat, creating a law where none existed

but I couldn't find an example on first Google page.... it was full of a more recent fiat

California Judges found it unconstitutional for their congress to require a marriage be between one man and one woman

and while on the face that falls in you claim (killing the marriage preservation act) the Judges went further and claimed there is a fundamental right to family CREATING A LAW BY FIAT that the family must be allowed despite the members contained in it

this fiat is a Pandora's box since it allows more than just homosexuals to marry.... by the same logic multiple partners can marry (bigamy is no more since they have a fundamental right to marry) also age requirements must be thrown out since a six year old (of EITHER gender) has a fundamental right to marry that dirty old man down the block, it nullifies incest laws also since the participants have the fundamental right to marry their children, nieces and nephews

and of course a grade school teacher has a fundamental right to marry their student(s) (again, of any gender and in any quantity)

All this by a fiat intended to bypass congress in creating the laws it wants to impose

DONT WORRY THOUGH, at the same time you were electing Obama, whos own website proudly displayed proof he wants gays to marry and be teachers of your children,(check the letters to that gay California group if they are still there, if not I will provide photocopies for my costs to copy and mail) CALIFORNIA VOTERS PASSED A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT FOR ONE MAN ONE WOMAN MARRIAGES ONLY... now the homosexual agenda needs to take the issue to the federal level

289.2.2009 13:59

Originally posted by ZippyDSM:
...also...lobbying=treason....
a novel thought.... of course lobbying is just legalized bribery... with the money going to caterers, travel agencies, hotels, call girls, and reelection funds that go mainly to the media ibn the form of ad revenue (yes there are buttons and bumper stickers etc, but by far the biggest output is for TV and Radio ads most of which say "vote for me because the other guy should never be in office" when the ironic fact is they both are right) (NEITHER should be in office)


but treason is sin against an entity (the government) where lobbying usually is sin against every man woman and child governed by that government (no lobby gives money without expecting to get back more, A LOT MORE)

The MAFiaas are slowly showing why/how the lobby system is flawed (along with other lobbies in the news) but the RIAA and its movie sibling have gone so far that there is a backlash brewing meanwhile this article has nothing to do with the RIAA et al

the digital TV extension has passed, probably still needs to be signed but there isn't any doubt he will, so I declare this thread dead.... see you in June! (I have unsubscribed so you will not be talking to me if you answer this)

299.2.2009 14:36

Quote:
Originally posted by ZippyDSM:

Laws either get approved or dismissed, there is no "creating".

That's up to congress and things like the patriot act :P
so easy to see your left side....

court ordered busing was a judicial fiat, creating a law where none existed

but I couldn't find an example on first Google page.... it was full of a more recent fiat

California Judges found it unconstitutional for their congress to require a marriage be between one man and one woman

and while on the face that falls in you claim (killing the marriage preservation act) the Judges went further and claimed there is a fundamental right to family CREATING A LAW BY FIAT that the family must be allowed despite the members contained in it

this fiat is a Pandora's box since it allows more than just homosexuals to marry.... by the same logic multiple partners can marry (bigamy is no more since they have a fundamental right to marry) also age requirements must be thrown out since a six year old (of EITHER gender) has a fundamental right to marry that dirty old man down the block, it nullifies incest laws also since the participants have the fundamental right to marry their children, nieces and nephews

and of course a grade school teacher has a fundamental right to marry their student(s) (again, of any gender and in any quantity)

All this by a fiat intended to bypass congress in creating the laws it wants to impose

DONT WORRY THOUGH, at the same time you were electing Obama, whos own website proudly displayed proof he wants gays to marry and be teachers of your children,(check the letters to that gay California group if they are still there, if not I will provide photocopies for my costs to copy and mail) CALIFORNIA VOTERS PASSED A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT FOR ONE MAN ONE WOMAN MARRIAGES ONLY... now the homosexual agenda needs to take the issue to the federal level
I am left leaning but franky the 2 party system is one of fascists, on the right you have antiquated traditionalism cover over hard rich and big business focused authoritarianism, on the left we have the the kinder more gentle class of nobles that under their facade lurk PC nazis that are more than happy using fake and absurd logic to gain control over society via the guise of good intention.

As for gays marrying I do not believe in the absolution of religion the mroe prefect it tires to be the more vile and insipid it becomes.

Besides the church is no longer a huge part of government hell its become a fcking social club in the modern age. Marriage has little to do with religion in this day and age its a contract between couples and the government far more than its a a contract with couples between their deity of choice, and that's another problem not all religions condemn same sex couples.

Like blacks before them this is strictly a equal rights issue that must be allowed.


As for multiple partners that is easy, we already have them here living peacefully in society only they are not in a contract with the government because of the stagnation of the mind religion tends to bring with it.

What you do is allow it tax them heavily and then fine them back taxes if any abuse is going on, its not so much multiple partner setups are bad its more the closed societies that have multiple partner setups is, its the abusive nature of it that can create trouble. Because of it you tax them more and allow those that live in the open not to be as heavy watched those that live in tight closed communities who would need to have DHS visit them 2 or 3 times a year.

All of this is called being mature and adult and allowing adults fair and equal rights, Polygamy is biblical the only reason it was done away with in the mainstream church is because of the sexual neurosis the church gained during its more strict and abusive times.

As for gays marrying 2 main reasons to allow it US law and the church is no longer a large part of government anymore.

BTW if SCOTUS is not the end all in vetting and refining the laws we live under then what good is anything, we can't live on strict laws made 200 years ago that do not count for the nuances of the day.


Its like copy right right now, copy right is the absolute control of distribution of CP'd works they didn't know even 20 years ago that in time people can share media like thought only without thinking, laws and rules need to grow from the base they are made from in order not to be made invalid by the times.

Then again if we followed the constitution strictly we would not make drugs illegal but regulate it like guns, we would have less restrictions on what adults can do perhaps more fines and what not for public order.

Blacks would have never need civil rights movement because they would have been automatically protected as would gays but no because of the insipid nature of moralisim driven by proxy the church have more rules to abuse us as a society.

Don't get me wrong I don't hate the church, its people tend to be much more humble and kind than they tend to be generalized as, however IMO its a organization like any other only it uses historic tenants as its base that are changed over time to seek the needs of the current organization. Only when its people take the word as absolute it breeds nothing but division,pettiness and strife.

Comments have been disabled for this article.

News archive