More Details On Proposed DTV Delay: This Just Gets Better And Better

from the idea:-bad,-details:-worse dept

As mentioned, the House has rejected the attempt to push through the delay to the digital TV transition that the Senate approved earlier in the week. The measure needed a two-thirds majority to pass in this attempt, which it did not get. However, it did garner a simple majority, which means it will probably be brought to the floor and passed in the next few days. But it's worth looking more closely at some of the details to understand that this proposal seems likely to make things worse. While the general gist of the measure is that it would delay the transition until June 12th, it actually says that broadcasters can switch off their analog signals any time between February 17 and June 12. So it removes the hard deadline date, instead letting broadcasters make the transition whenever they like in a four-month period. If there's already so much confusion over the transition that a delay is needed, how will the switch from a hard deadline to a whenever-you-feel-like-it plan help? It would seem that one way to ensure people find out about the transition would be to let it happen: if people lose their TV signal (and really care that much), they'll take some action to rectify it. Of course, that still wouldn't solve one of the big issues of the transition: the bungled converter coupon program.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2009 @ 6:01pm

    Why would they?

    Yeah, but what broadcaster in their right mind WOULD switch over early? It's inevitably going to hurt viewership when they do. I don't know if it'll cut 5% or 30% of the audience, but the drop is certain.

     

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  2.  
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    TEA-Time, Jan 28th, 2009 @ 6:10pm

    I say just do it already!

    And while they're at it, throw the metric system in with it for good measure (pun not intended, but it works :).

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Rose M. Welch, Jan 28th, 2009 @ 6:30pm

    Re:

    That comment was so full of win.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2009 @ 6:34pm

    Re: Why would they?

    But costs are also going to be low. They save resources running analog transmitter.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2009 @ 6:37pm

    Re:

    ummm... metric system :)

    It is 0 degree outside

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Spade, Jan 28th, 2009 @ 6:37pm

    Wow… could this get any more messed up? Taking what once was a solid deadline, and spreading it out in a completely uncoordinated manner like this, is just beyond stupid.

    The linked article speculates that Congress is doing this to deflect the blame from themselves to the TV stations looking to finally forward.

    Just bite the bullet and stick with the original date.

     

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  7.  
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    DS78, Jan 28th, 2009 @ 6:47pm

    I still say...

    Pull the plug already. Do it now before things get screwed up any worse.

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Urza, Jan 28th, 2009 @ 7:30pm

    Re: Why would they?

    Because it costs them a _lot_ of money to keep both transmitters running. Major stations might keep 'em both up, but smaller stations won't have the money to.

     

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  9.  
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    oldoaks, Jan 28th, 2009 @ 7:39pm

    Conversion to digital

    Has no one noticed that even if the conversion is delayed until the end of time, there will still be those who haven't prepared?

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2009 @ 8:18pm

    Re: Conversion to digital

    "haven't prepared"

    or

    dont give a shit

     

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  11.  
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    ironskull, Jan 28th, 2009 @ 8:52pm

    dtv

    When the switch to dtv is made, tv manufactures can eliminate the analog tuner which will drop the cost of flat screen TVs

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Nitro, Jan 28th, 2009 @ 9:10pm

    Re: dtv

    to ironskull: you do realize that cable tv companies still provide their signal to your tv using the analog tuner don't you?

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2009 @ 10:49pm

    Let's keep delaying the time every time the deadline comes up.

    It would still just as 'soft' as it was before, just another date...

    Couldn't they just cut off analog at any time? Was there some mandate saying they have to have analog tv up until that date?

    ...and when that day comes, they can delay it again, just to show how committed they are.

    I found a source saying "full transition to digital by December 31, 2006" So this wouldn't be the first delay.
    http://tv.about.com/od/hdtv/a/ishdtvoverrated.htm

    Even now I found online sites that still sell 'standard definition television' so it's not completely dead, yet. I wonder how popular they'll be when the final final deadline passes.

    How much pollution will this cause? Will people be throwing out all their old tv s and buying new ones. "If I have to go shopping I might as well replace my old tv instead of getting a converter box"

     

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  14.  
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    Guy One, Jan 28th, 2009 @ 11:33pm

    HA ha ha ha funniest shit ever, the only thing that is going to get people to buy converter boxes is to FLIP THE SWITCH!!!


    oh and AC #13... those "standard definition TV's" are DTV ready tho...

     

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  15.  
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    Mike (profile), Jan 28th, 2009 @ 11:42pm

    Re: Let's keep delaying the time every time the deadline comes up.

    I found a source saying "full transition to digital by December 31, 2006" So this wouldn't be the first delay.

    It's actually been pushed back for the better part of a decade.


    Even now I found online sites that still sell 'standard definition television' so it's not completely dead, yet. I wonder how popular they'll be when the final final deadline passes.


    Um. Standard definition TVs have nothing to do with this.

    It's about the switch from analog to digital over the air signals. Standard vs. HD TV are a totally separate issue. Any standard definition tv you buy today will be digital compatible.

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    ToySouljah, Jan 29th, 2009 @ 12:18am

    Re: Re: Let's keep delaying the time every time the deadline comes up.

    Yeah, I see the confusion when it comes to DTV and HDTV in a lot of peoples faces. I think they need to rename one as to not confuse the simple-minded majority. It really is a waste of tax payers money for them to be going in and trying to delay it since we have to pay for their sessions and meetings about it. Pull the plug and see how fast people will move to get their signal back (if they lose it). If they keep delaying it then people will continue to procrastinate or complain that they didn't get a coupon (yes, you can actually buy a converter WITHOUT a coupon). I know it's sounds stupid, but there are actually people that think they need a coupon in order to get a converter box.

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Ima Fish, Jan 29th, 2009 @ 7:02am

    "how will the switch from a hard deadline to a whenever-you-feel-like-it plan help?"

    Easy. By spreading the deadline over a period of nearly four months, the FCC will spread out the complaints over that same four month period. If I worked at the FCC, I'd prefer to have the complaints spread out over four months rather than have them all occur on the exact same day.

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Anon, Jan 29th, 2009 @ 7:19am

    Re: Ima Fish

    That's all fine but the FCC was/is against the delay not for it, same with the Natl Broadcasters. This is all on the heads of Congress and Obama, they are the only ones that want this delay. 96% of the Population is already ready, it doesn't get much better than that.

     

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  19.  
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    Ima Fish, Jan 29th, 2009 @ 7:32am

    Re: Re: Ima Fish

    "That's all fine but..."

    Carlo asked how it helped. I explained that it clearly helps the FCC. Enough said.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    George Bush, Jan 29th, 2009 @ 7:36am

    You mean the bungled Bush-Cheney-Martin DTV Coupon Program

    You mean the bungled Bush-Cheney-Martin DTV Coupon Program - like the bungled Bush-Cheney KAtrina recovery and the bungled Bush-Cheney war and the bungled Bush-Cheney economy. Let's give warm and welcome credit where credit is due.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    nasch, Jan 29th, 2009 @ 8:22am

    Re:

    The other thing that will mean is if for example a city has contracted to sell their emergency communication equipment and switch to new equipment using the old analog TV band, they still might be able to do so if they can convince the local TV station(s) to drop their analog transmissions.

    Better to just cut over on the 17th, but the spread out soft deadline isn't all bad.

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased), Jan 29th, 2009 @ 9:07am

    Re: You mean the bungled Bush-Cheney-Martin DTV Coupon Program

    Bungle 1 - The people getting coupons screwed up since they couldn't figure out there were expirations and they waited 'til the last minute.
    Bungle 2 - The idiots in Louisiana are rebuilding in a disaster prone area.
    Bungle 3 - Saddam Hussain is dead.

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Ima Fish, Jan 29th, 2009 @ 9:20am

    Re: Re:

    "Better to just cut over on the 17th..."

    I totally agree. Let's yank that bandage!

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Tony, Jan 29th, 2009 @ 10:48am

    Re: You mean the bungled Bush-Cheney-Martin DTV Coupon Program

    Bush is no longer president. Time to get over it.

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    Bunny, Jan 29th, 2009 @ 6:37pm

    Millions fewer to watch TV commercials

    If they flip the switch, TV commercial spots that assume a certain audience size will have to be reduced in price as advertisers realize they are not reaching everyone. A smaller audience means smaller sales.

    Thus, more economic gloom will result at just the wrong moment. It's possible that other media (friendlier to Republicans) will pick up some audience, but TV being a more convincing medium I would expect sales to be lost overall.

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    TV guy, Feb 3rd, 2009 @ 6:35pm

    Re: Why would they?

    I'll tell you why broadcasters would turn off on Feb. 17th, as originally planned: cost.

    It's expensive to run both a digital and analog transmitter, and most stations have already calculated their annual budgets based on a Feb. 17th end of analog operations. For example, a local station here is running a 5,000kW analog transmitter, and a 1,000kW digital transmitter. Ending analog broadcasting would mean a huge savings in just the power bill alone.

    Cable and satellite penetration is high enough in most larger markets that broadcasters are willing to bite the bullet and take the temporary viewership hit.

     

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  27.  
    identicon
    brenda, Feb 3rd, 2009 @ 7:14pm

    tv switcheroo

    having a tv that works is not a right given to anyone (rights are those silly things that govt always threatens to take away) and so if a person, regardless of their station in life, doesnt have a tv then thats their problem. too many low income people own better tv's than the average person does (fact). the real reason why these folks dont get a new cable ready tv is because they ant afford cable services. that too is their problem and not mine. why would the govt want every single human being to have atv anyway? to be couch potatoes? oh yea because then they are easier to control.

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    Bartman, Feb 3rd, 2009 @ 10:30pm

    Re: Re: dtv

    to Nitro:

    No, cable TV companies don't provide their signal through the analog tuner. They provide a composite video signal that feeds into the video input jack. The days of piggybacking cable TV into your home via channel 3 or 4 are obsolete.

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    Matt, Feb 3rd, 2009 @ 11:50pm

    Re: Re: Why would they?

    it cost much much more to transmit in analog then digital.

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    matt, Feb 4th, 2009 @ 1:46am

    free country???

    why should the broadcasters be required to broadcast in analog to a specific date set by congress?? they should have the right to cut the service whenever they want. Why should the government have any say in what services they must provide?

     

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  31.  
    identicon
    Tony, Feb 4th, 2009 @ 5:15am

    This is just stupid!

    Typical freakin politics! All the important things that need to be done and the Congress is gonna vote on TV signals. This just like when Congress, in 2006, voted to pass a resolution condemning genocide in Turkey back in 1911. Oh yeah, that REALLY had to be passed right then!

    This conversion is not news! It's been talked about for 10 freakin years! Maybe having no TV will do the unprepared idiots some good. Make them have to start reading again and think for themselves. No more idiot box to tell them what to do or how to think.

     

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  32.  
    identicon
    dtremain, Feb 4th, 2009 @ 6:17am

    Re: Why would they?

    Because it will save them a great deal of power costs.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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