Wed, Jan 28th 2009 5:24pm
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.
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