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Digital TV

February 17, 2009 03:00 by ckincincy

So I am publishing this on the day that digital TV was supposed to become official.  But our government decided we should wait.  Now before this was going down I emailed both of my senator’s to let them know that they should let the change go on as expected.  That there would always be people not prepared to make the switch.  We still have people using Internet Explorer 5.5, how in the world do they expect everybody to be ready for a switch of digital TV.  Here is the reply I got from Sherrod Brown, one of my senators.  George Voinovich, my other senator, is a bit of a waste and always takes weeks to reply.

Dear Mr. Klopfstein:

Thank you for expressing your views on efforts to delay the DTV transition date.

It is absolutely essential that no viewers are left in the dark when analog broadcasts are turned off. In 2005, during committee consideration of legislation setting standards for the transition, I supported efforts to provide complete funding for every household to be able to purchase two set-top converter boxes. Unfortunately, this amendment did not pass the committee.

The legislation that did pass was designed to partially subsidize consumer purchases of converter boxes. The bill set up guidelines to provide two forty-dollar coupons to requesting U.S. households. Coupons were to be issued between January 1, 2008, and March 31, 2009, with a provision that individuals must use their coupons within three months after issuance.

However, the NTIA recently announced that because of funding issues, those requesting coupons would be placed on a "waiting list" and coupons would be mailed out on a first-come-first-served basis, as funds from expired coupons become available.

In response to these developments, President Obama urged lawmakers to postpone the February 17th deadline for the DTV transition. The President also requested that Congress craft legislation that would provide additional funding for the coupon program and devise new accounting rules so that all those who request converter box coupons can receive them.

Bipartisan legislation recently introduced by Congress would delay the switchover date until June 12th, 2009. However, some television stations may be permitted to switch to digital before June 12th with the approval of the Federal Communication Commission. Additionally, the legislation also includes a provision allowing consumers with expired coupons to re-apply for replacements.

In these tough economic times, I am very concerned about the costs that consumers, particularly low-income households, could incur during the switch to digital television. I support President Obama and Congress’s efforts to ensure that all Americans receive DTV coupons and that everyone is prepared for these changes.

Thank you again for being in touch with me.


Sherrod Brown

Understand the burden he put out here.  That NO viewer be left behind.  Just rubbish.

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February 20. 2009 11:26

I find it funny that many stations are choosing to switch now instead of waiting for the governments new date..

Also, why in the world are my tax dollars going to pay for converter boxes for other people?  Why does the government think it's so important that everyone receive television?

Chris |

February 20. 2009 17:24

Dude, its just stunning how much we thing is a 'right' in this country.

We only had one local station switch, and they are the 'MyNetworkTv' station... so...

ckincincy |

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