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back to article Congress gives analogue TV signal 4-month reprieve

The US Congress has agreed to delay the mandatory transition to digital television until 12 June, putting the sick, the elderly and the unemployed ahead of the first responders waiting for access to the released spectrum. The vote was split 264 to 158, but this time only needed a simple majority and was thus passed with …

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Flame

4 months?

With all the drivel on tv nowadays and increased amounts of advertising, I would have welcomed an earlier shutdown.

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what a waste of money

DTV transistion delay

This new DTV transistion delay to June is a huge waste of tax payers money.

The best suggestion i read around this was;

Stuart Henshall - Twitter

“DTV Delay Almost Official - cheapest notification would be 48 hours without TV and then four months. http://tinyurl.com/cvqz2b

Will make sure those procrastinators get their act together.

Cheers,

Dean

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Alert

143 Down 276 to go...

if over a third have gone already how come they are not ready yet?

Oh I get it the gov't offered free money so people are waiting for it...

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Pre-write the June story then

You could copy and paste this story in June, as exactly the same will happen again.

Some people just need to be booted into the digital age, they won't go willingly.

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Stats

What is odd is that they count households like mine in Boston. Where we are unable to receive any digital or analogue TV signal, unwilling to fork over ridiculous subscription fees for cable and generally watch BBC shows online anyway (and maybe the odd be of comedy central).

But that's the thing, I bet that they can't believe ANY household would have NO TV.

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Anonymous Coward

Stupid stupid stupid

I know several people who got their coupon but didn't use it before it expired, and are now trying to get another. I know others who want the coupon even though they don't need a converter "just in case" they might need it years down the road. It's funny that the converters cost exactly what the coupons are worth; a year from now the converters will cost 1/2 as much.

The whole situation is just stupid. This is the biggest non-issue to hit the US since the Y2K scare. Throw the damn switch already.

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Dead Vulture

A NewDay Will Dawn (?)

The USA will switch to digital television on the same day it switches to the metric system.

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Anonymous Coward

Our tax dollars at work

I get my signal from satellite, and am sick to death of watching the tax-paid commercials telling us about the switch. The worst one actually says "in fact, digital is so much better that the Federal Government has mandated that all stations will have to switch to digital on Feb. 17th." Yeah, the .gov really cares how good my TV picture is. That's taxpayer-funded false advertising. I'd say that they should be fined for it, but I know who'd end up paying the fine.

Here's my idea:

On digital broadcasts, quit running the commercials already. If we can see them, we've already taken care of the problem. (and don't tell me they can't substitute commercials on digital)

On analog stations, start cutting into the programs at random times with an announcement that "After such-and-such date, you won't be able to watch this anymore. Switch this week, and it's free. Wait a week, and it'll cost you ten bucks." Then lower the coupon values by $10 every week until switch time. After four weeks, start showing nothing but mindless crap. (oh, wait....)

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Anonymous Coward

Subtitle should read

Most Americans slow.

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Bronze badge
Flame

Television programming standards, COME ON DOWN!!!

The price is right!

Seriously, if the US experience is much like the UK one, I don't blame the Merkans for the slow uptake.

After all, in the UK, most companies are so eager to tell you what is "coming up" that it often ruins what you want to watch now, what with the adverts, inserts, screen squashes and so forth, and that's before we get to the subject of increased advertising breaks, sponsorship intrusion and such, or indeed the "interactive" content which is shoved down your throat from various angles.

These days, I spend more time watching old videos and off-air content than watching the repeat-riddled TV services, whether MurdoVision, BransoVideo or whatever else. Digital TV isn't a bad idea in principle, but the marketing is totally shite.

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There are commercials?

If you have a DVR you don't need to watch commercials. But the gov't has really mishandled the whole DTV transition. (Big surprise, there.) Not just the coupons. Why do they need to expire in 90 days? Oh, yeah, because they din't provide enough money in the program, so they WANT them to go unredeemed so they can reissue them to someone else. Except they also didn't fund the administrative overhead to send them out more than once.

One could order a coupon begining Jan. 1, 2008, and a great many people did so (myself included) to ensure they didn't run out. But the selection of converter boxes available within 90 days of issuance was pathetic. This is why many (most?) expired unused.

Oh, BTW AC of 16:47, the boxes DO NOT cost exactly the same as the coupon. They are mostly $20 to $50 more (plus S&H and/or tax), although a very few are $10 or less above the coupon price.

I have satellite TV, but I still bought several boxes for myself, in case the dish goes out for one reason or another, and I want to watch something on one of my several analog sets, and I also needed to check them out for my mother-in-law-to-be who relies entirely on rabbit ears.

Then there was the fact that the FCC didn't require TVs to have digital tuners until 2007. So there were people buying a product that normally lasts 10-20 years, but was going to be essentially worthless in less than two. Do you think the PFY in BB or CC who sold it knew or cared? He just wanted the sale.

This whole delay is more of a CYA measure than anything. Stations are going to switch as soon as they can because it costs them money to simulcast. Lazy procrastinators are still not going to be ready, no matter how long they delay it, but now Congress can say we gave you more time, it's not our fault the stations are greedy money-grubbers.

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Free Market

This industry promoted, gov't mandated, taxpayer sponsored event is my favorite example when folks start talking about the glory and wonder of the free market.

If broadcast digital TV was such a clear winner over analog broadcast would they have to require a cut over date? Would they need to subsidize the cost of converter boxes? Shouldn't "market forces" simply encourage folks to make the change on their own?

Second favorite example is the relatively recent outlawing of the incandescent light bulb.

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