Listening to the sage words of the wise one, Congress has stepped up and voted heed the Obama Administration’s council and delayed the proposed digital TV transition. Originally scheduled for next week, the digital TV transition in the United States would shut off most analog broadcast signals (except those from stations that are so small they can’t afford to make the switchover) and go completely digital. The plan, which has been in place for several years and prompted a multi-million dollar ad and voucher campaign to help viewers make the switch, drew concern from the incoming administration as there are still thousands of people waiting for digital converter vouchers and no money to pay for them. It seems that the free $40 voucher, which is meant to help absorb the cost of a digital to analog converter box, was so popular that the entire program funding was depleted with a month to go, leaving thousands in the lurch until the more then 40% of unused vouchers were recycled and reprocessed for redistribution. And that’s where the perceived problem came.
Fearing widespread anger and not being able to access any television – especially in the event of an emergency – President Obama requested a delay to June 12, so that Congress could appropriate more funds for vouchers and allow TV viewers more time to get on board with the change. Frankly, it may be due to the new President not wanting the masses to miss the first hundred days of his Presidency and the change he’s promised to bring. But with the mess that the proposed stimulus/pork package is making, Obama may wish he’d turned the signal off as scheduled.
I mean, this program has been in place for well over 5 years. How ready do you have to be? Still, users now have until early summer to get their boxes if they have an antenna. The switchover will not effect those using cable or satellite TV.
Hat Tip – Oh Gizmo