Thursday, February 05, 2009

June Transition Date Approved

As widely expected, the U.S. House of Representatives approved moving the long-ago-set date for the TV digital transition, from February 17th to June 12th, by a 264 to 158 vote. (We'd have put this up earlier, but you'd pretty much had to have been under a rock not to hear about it on Wednesday afternoon.)

The bill has already been approved by the U.S. Senate, and unlike an earlier House attempt, did not require a 2/3rds vote to it heads directly for the desk of President Barack Obama.

Obama's transition team came up with the idea of the nearly four-month delay in the February date, and the president is expected to sign the bill into law this week.

There are still things to do: among them, the FCC will have to create rules to implement the new transition date. Meanwhile, hundreds of stations are filing to leave analog behind on the original date, February 17th.

We're tired, and resting, so we'll have an article going into more detail sometime later today...


emery_r said...

It appears, as noted yesterday by the intrepid TSMW blogger, that all of Dayton's stations definitely plan to stick with Feb. 17 for a "global" conversion in that market. Today's front page Cincinnati Enquirer AP article on the DTV delay has local info added by John Kiesewetter, indicating Channels 9, 12, 19, 48 and 64 would like to hold to the Feb. 17 date, but none firmly announced they WOULD do so. And no word from Ch. 5 was offered.

Bottom line -- seems like all of Cincinnati's full-power stations want to go digital, but only if everyone jumps at the same time. No one wants to be without an analog signal as long as even ONE other station stays analog.

RedCoat999 said...

So I will have to ask my Grandma in Avon Lake which stations she prefers because if we switch to using DTV she will lose WKYC 3 (can't get reception with DTV), and if she stays with analog for the moment she will lose Fox 8 and possibly more.

emery_r said...

RedCoat999, you've brought up yet ANOTHER aggravation with the DTV transition.

Why in the world wasn't it mandated that ALL digital converter boxes must have analog signal through-put? As part of my preparation for DTV, it was quickly apparent that two flavors of converter boxes existed -- those with, and those without, analog signal through-put. And this feature alone didn't seem to affect final pricing of the box -- even some lower-priced units had this feature, which not only has obvious value during this goofy transition time, but also afterwards if you happen to have low-power or translator stations in your area. THESE are allowed to continue analog broadcasts, so without analog through-put, aren't they essentially dead?

It's issues like this that make me doubt the basic intelligence of those who "planned" this move into the new age of digital TV -- and that's being VERY generous, calling this a "plan". On the other hand, this may be good news -- plenty of people harbor goofy ideas about massive conspiracies of right- or left-wing folks taking over the country -- you know, those fabled "black helicopters" and all that. Well, if DTV is planned and executed this badly, how could anything as big and complex as a military coup could be carried off?