05 February 2009

Digital TV Delayed

Analogy televisions have been granted a reprieve. They were to be rendered obsolete on February 17. Now, Congress has extended the date until June 12.

Why?

Difficulty in getting coupons for converter boxes and an understanding of the need to at to "late adopters" like elderly people, people in rural areas and the poor have left many people without digital TV access. Also, the need to convert your TV seems like an extra burden to hit often financially struggling people with in the midst of a deep recession.

The Nielsen Co. estimates that more than 6.5 million U.S. households that rely on analog TV sets to pick up over-the-air broadcast signals are not ready. People who subscribe to cable or satellite TV or have a newer TV with a digital tuner will not be affected.


How many of these households are expected to make the change before the switch in the extra four months isn't clear.

My concern? Many digital television stations had planned on increasing their signal strength on February 17, since htey were no longer obligated to maintain analog signals. This signal boost may be delayed, making reception patchier for those who are already using digital signals.

2 comments:

Jon W. said...

As I understand it, the only thing that has been delayed is the mandate to cease analog broadcasts. Verizon et al. can't use the bandwidth until June, but stations are under no obligation to continue to use it. I don't know whether this will delay digital signal boosts.

The AVS local HDTV forum is a good source of information. An employee of the local CBS affiliate is a frequent poster in the Boston thread. I also see frequent references to RabbitEars.info, which claims that our NBC affiliate "will flash-cut on 02/17/09."

Seneca the Younger said...

More likely they'll change over anyway, rather than maintin two transmitters longer than they're required to. Another "good PR no actual effect" initiative.