BREAKING: The House has voted against the delay which means that the digital switch will still occur on Feb 17th.
Heres is the full story from TV Guide:
The House of Representatives has rejected a bill to postpone the digital TV transition. The decision comes two days after the Senate voted to move the date from Feb. 17 to June 12.
Fearing too many Americans are unprepared for the changeover, the Senate unanimously passed a bill Monday to allow viewers more time to subscribe to cable or to purchase a digital converter box. President Barack Obamarequested a delay earlier this month after the government-sponsored program providing coupons to offset the cost of a $40 converter boxmaxed out its budget. The bill’s defeat is the first setback for the Obama administration.
Approximately 2.5 million Americans are still waiting for coupons, while the Nielsen Co. estimates that more than 6.5 million households are unprepared for the analog-to-digital switch.
The changeover date was first set in 2005.
The previous post below…
You know those ads you keep on seeing during your favorite shows saying that you won’t be able to watch TV if you don’t recieve a digital signal on February 17th. Well, scratch that and make in June 12th. Congress is about to fully pass a bill saying the digital switch will be delayed. I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand, this moves it away from the regular TV season so our favorite shows will not be affect ratings wise. The other hand is that it won’t really effected anything, if people aren’t ready they won’t be in June. Here is the full story below…
From Associated Press:
WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress is poised to grant a four-month delay in the upcoming shutdown of analog TV broadcasts, though broadcasters still will be allowed to go all-digital earlier if they want.
The House was expected to vote late Tuesday or Wednesday on a bill that would shift the analog TV shutdown to June 12 from Feb. 17. The Senate unanimously approved the idea Monday night, in a victory for the Obama administration and Democratic lawmakers who argue that too many Americans wouldn’t be ready to get digital broadcasts by Feb. 17.
The Nielsen Co. estimates that more than 6.5 million U.S. households that rely on analog sets to pick up over-the-air broadcast signals could see their TVs go dark next month if the shutdown is not postponed. People who subscribe to cable or satellite TV, or have a newer TV with a digital tuner, are not affected.
A delay is “our only hope of mitigating the negative impact on millions of consumers,” said House Commerce Committe Chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif. Waxman is shepherding the Senate bill, sponsored by Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., through the House.
Democrats need the support of at least two-thirds of House members to pass the bill and will run into opposition from at least some key Republicans, including Joe Barton, R-Texas, ranking member of the House Commerce Committee.
Barton argues that a delay would confuse consumers and burden the wireless companies and public safety agencies that are waiting for airwaves that will be freed by the shutdown of analog TV broadcasts. The shift to entirely digital broadcasts, which are more efficient than analog, has been planned since the 1990s.
Some opponents of a delay also worry about the added costs for television stations that have been banking on the Feb. 17 date and wouldn’t want to keep broadcasting both analog and digital signals for another four months. But Rockefeller adjusted his bill to let broadcasters go entirely digital sooner than the June deadline if they choose — a provision that has helped win the backing of the National Association of Broadcasters.
The Obama administration began pushing for a delay this month after the Commerce Department hit a $1.34 billion funding limit for coupons that help consumers pay for digital TV converter boxes. The boxes, which generally cost between $40 and $80 and can be purchased without a coupon, translate digital signals back into analog ones for older TVs.
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration, the arm of the Commerce Department administering the program, is now sending out new coupons only as older, unredeemed ones expire and free up more money. The NTIA had nearly 2.6 million coupon requests on a waiting list as of last week.