stories filed under: "delay"
by Mike Masnick
Wed, Feb 4th 2009 5:38pm
We were a bit surprised when the House rejected a plan unanimously approved by the Senate to delay the transition from analog to digital over the air TV broadcasting from February to June of this year. However, we knew it couldn't last. A little horse-trading and favor-promising and the new bill has won approval from both parts of Congress with Obama expected to sign it (wonder if he'll wait five days for comments?). The end result is that pretty much everyone loses -- other than some grandstanding politicians and the 12 or so people who haven't upgraded and who will upgrade between now and June. Everyone else -- including the folks who still won't be ready when June rolls around lost out here. It will slow down a variety of other important wireless offerings and increase confusion in a market where the February cut-off date was drilled into the minds of millions.
Wed, Jan 28th 2009 5:24pm
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.
by Mike Masnick
Wed, Jan 28th 2009 11:58am
from the wow dept
When the Senate unanamously agreed to delay the digital TV transition to June, it seemed like a formality that the House would agree as well. Apparently not. Plenty of people have spoken up about how silly it is to delay the transition, and it appears that our Congressional Representatives actually have voted down their version of the bill, meaning that the transition date is still on for February... for now. It wouldn't be at all surprising to see some horse trading, where some Reps get some sort of payoff in order to change their vote.
by Mike Masnick
Tue, Jan 27th 2009 1:14am
from the doubtful dept
It still makes little sense to us to delay the digital TV switchover beyond February 17th. The switch has already been delayed for nearly a decade, and anyone who doesn't know about it yet isn't likely to know about it when June roles around either. Yet, for political expediency, it looks like the Senate has approved plans to move the transition back to June (the House still needs to vote on this, but it seems likely to pass), which will end up slowing the rollout of various wireless services, thereby harming most consumers a lot more than this helps them. Hopefully, in June, politicians don't roll over again and push back the date again.
from the just-a-suggestion dept
David Carr, over at the NY Times, has a good column pointing out not just how silly NBC's efforts to block all websites from showing the Olympics opening ceremony before it broadcast the (long delayed) ceremonies itself was, but also how it didn't make much sense. Comparing it to the story last week concerning the Philadelphia Inquirer's braindead policy to delay stories until the print paper comes out, Carr notes the difference between viewing online as solely a "broadcast" medium, to one where much more is happening. For example, the stories Carr heard from his friends who got around NBC's media blackout resulted in him watching the official broadcast:
I was one of them, in part because as the day wore on, I saw all manner of oohing and ahhing on the Web from bloggers and friends who had peeked in and found themselves awe-struck. By the time the broadcast rolled around, my daughter and I had been nicely primed by the Web fanatics for what was, after all, a kind of epic movie made in real time that was best enjoyed on a big screen with good resolution.In other words, rather than trying to block all the internet broadcasts of the opening ceremonies, just let them drive more interest in catching the full broadcast. He also points out that the internet isn't just a system for broadcasting content, but it's a way for people to interact with the content. That can be about promoting it to others (as people did concerning the opening ceremonies to Carr) or it could be in letting them contribute to the story, as others did in telling Carr's colleague about getting around NBC's block:
On Saturday, Mr. Stelter's wonderful article in The New York Times on how people were working around the blackout on the Olympic ceremony began as a post on Twitter seeking consumer experiences, then jumped onto his blog, TV Decoder, caught the attention of editors who wanted it expanded for the newspaper and ended up on Page One, jammed with insight and with plenty of examples from real human experience.These aren't new ideas, but it's nice to see a media reporter from such a mainstream publication as the Times schooling other old media properties like NBC and the Philadelphia Inquirer in how it's done.