Many local TV stations to go ahead with DTV switch

washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/02/10/AR2009021002627.html

Many local TV stations to go ahead with DTV switch

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - About 40 percent of the nation’s hundreds of TV stations will be broadcasting completely in digital signals next week, even after regulators delayed a mandatory nationwide switch to “DTV” by months.

The Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday said 681 of the nearly 1800 television broadcast stations will have already stopped broadcasting in older, analog signals, or will by next week.

The U.S. House of Representatives last week voted to delay the mandatory change by four months – to June 12 from February 17. President Barack Obama is expected to sign the bill into law shortly.

But the delayed bill gave television stations, which say they’ve spent millions of dollars preparing and educating viewers of the switch-over, the option to transition to all digital on the original date, next Tuesday.

Backers of the delay feared that 20 million mostly poor, elderly or rural households were not prepared due to a shortage of government coupons meant to defray the cost of converter boxes.

With everything else going on why is Congress so concerned about people going without TV? Are they afraid of rioting in the streets if the screens go dark?
Most folks will probably buy a new TV or a converter box with or without coupon.

I don’t blame the TV stations for going ahead.

My husband works for a local TV station, and all the stations in town agreed to go ahead and make the change. The further delay is ridiculous; analog signals cost considerably more than digital transmission, and it was estimated that, here at least, it would cost about $17,000 a month to continue analog until the new deadline. These days, that would likely mean someone was laid off, as that money had not been budgeted. I don’t blame the stations at all.

The delay of the switchover was a political stunt. That’s why only democrats mostly voted for it. People have had several years to get ready for this thing. My guess is if they were to delay it for another ten years, a lot of people would still not be prepared.

They’re doing the same thing here.
I actually hope we’ll lose more stations when they switch. Nothing much worth watching anyway…:frowning:

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