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Obama Asks Congress for Analog TV Shutdown Delay

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Old 01-08-2009, 02:41 PM   #1  
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Arrow Obama Asks Congress for Analog TV Shutdown Delay

Obama Asks Congress for Analog TV Shutdown Delay

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By Jesus Diaz, 2:43 PM on Thu Jan 8 2009, 6,987 views

President-elect Barack Obama has asked Congress to stop the shut down on analog TV broadcasts, due on February 17. The main two reasons: "Inadequate funding" and problems with the converter box program. But there's more.

John Podesta, co-chair of the Obama-Biden transition team, requested that "the cut-off date for analog signals should be reconsidered and extended". The letter was sent this Thursday to the chairs and ranking Republicans on the House Energy & Commerce Committee and Senate Commerce Committee.

Probably realizing that the Roman Emperors were right with their "bread and entertainment" policies, Podesta also argues that Americans can't wake up 28 days after the inauguration "to find their analog TV's no longer able to receive an over-the-air signal".

Indeed. I can see exactly what he means here. Not only it is true that the analog to digital TV program is broken, but I can already imagine people getting up in arms, thinking that the world is over after "the muslim" got into the White House, screaming "Whar's mah TV? This ain't wawkin'! ah knowed thet guy warn't enny fine, Ma! Fry mah hide! Kids, t'th' shelter! Git mah rifle!"

So yes, this is a wise move that would benefit everyone until the issues with the program funding and public education on the analog-to-digital transition are solved. [Broadcasting Cable
http://i.gizmodo.com/5126573/obama-a...shutdown-delay
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Old 01-08-2009, 03:12 PM   #2  
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Saw this coming from a mile away...
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Old 01-08-2009, 03:24 PM   #3  
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Originally Posted by ack_bak View Post
Saw this coming from a mile away...
It does not mean that it will happen. Congress doesn't get the BILLIONS from the winners of the spectrum action until the analog is shut off.

Some stations will go into "night light" mode on Feb. 17 - broadcasting that people must get a converter box to continue to watch TV.

The Converter STB's are around $50. So if no coupon - not a real budget buster.
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Old 01-08-2009, 04:19 PM   #4  
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People who didn't know their rabbit ears would stop working by now probably don't even realize when the TV is on or off anymore. I don't think they're a threat.
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Old 01-08-2009, 04:28 PM   #5  
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It is political more than anything else. With the economy in the toilet, the housing market in the toilet, employment in the toilet, Obama does not want any more negative publicity.
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Old 01-08-2009, 04:33 PM   #6  
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Obama: Delay DTV Transition

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President-elect Says Poor, Elderly Aren't Ready for Feb. 17 Transition

By Ted Hearn -- Multichannel News, 1/8/2009 3:07:00 PM
Washington—President-elect Barack Obama wants to delay the Feb. 17 transition to digital broadcasting, claiming the country, particularly the poor and elderly, are not prepared for the cutoff of analog TV signals so soon after he takes office on Jan. 20.

Obama's call for delay came in a letter Thursday from the co-chairman of his transition team, John Podesta, to the bipartisan leadership of the Commerce Committee's in the House and Senate.

Podesta didn't say how long the delay should last.

In a statement Thursday afternoon, U.S. Representative Joe Barton (R-Texas) decried Obama’s suggestion, saying “ditching the deadline and slathering on more millions of taxpayer dollars...is just panic.”

“We don’t need to bail out the DTV transition program because it isn’t failing, and reintroducing uncertainty to the switch will make things worse instead of better,” he said in the statement. “Congress has already put up $1.5 billion to ease the switch to digital television and that money is far from gone, recent headlines notwithstanding. About 300,000 of the $40 consumer coupons expire each week and as they do, more coupons go out.”

“Everybody recognizes that these aren’t ordinary times, and I’m working with Chairman Markey on an accounting bill that allows NTIA to meet the last-minute demand by issuing additional coupons,” he continued. “That’s the right thing to do.”

Another member of the Lone Star State delegation weighed in with similar sentiments.

“I am concerned about moving the date of the upcoming digital television transition,” said Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), in a prepared statement. “We need to focus on a solution to the coupon shortage. Shifting the date this close to the transition, without a sound plan to share information about the new transition date, will likely result in significant confusion.”

“I share concerns about the availability of coupons and pledge my support in working with my colleagues to find a solution to this problem,” she added.

President Bush signed the law in February 2006 to make Feb. 17, 2009 the cutoff date of analog TV signals nationally.

Podesta argued that the $1.34 billion, digital-to-analog converter box coupon program run by the U.S. Commerce Department can't issue any new coupons. That, he said, has produced a waiting list for 1 million $40 coupons. He also complained there was insufficient financial support for programs designed to help rural, poor and elderly to prepare for digital TV service.

"All of the above leads to the conclusion that the Feb. 17 cutoff of analog signals should be reconsider and extended," Podesta said.

An Obama transition office spokeswoman said that Obama supports Podesta's letter.

According to Nielsen Co., December data shows that approximately 7.8 million households, or 6.8% of total U.S. television homes, are completely unprepared, meaning that no TV set would be able to receive a signal unless some change is made.

“In light of recent calls for the delay of the transition to all-digital broadcast, we wanted to remind you that Nielsen has comprehensive numbers on how well prepared U.S. TV households are,” the media research firm said in a statement, adding that it has been providing updates for both the nation as a whole and each of 56 local markets with metered measurement throughout the past year.
http://www.multichannel.com/article/...?desc=topstory
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Old 01-08-2009, 05:07 PM   #7  
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I heard about this today. This analog switch over is never going to happen. Maybe in 2015.
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Old 01-08-2009, 05:12 PM   #8  
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Sigh. Big Mistake Obama. Don't delay it. Push for a better coupon program.
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Old 01-08-2009, 05:15 PM   #9  
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Originally Posted by h0mi View Post
Sigh. Big Mistake Obama. Don't delay it. Push for a better coupon program.
Seems to be sort of the opposite of "change" to me
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Old 01-08-2009, 05:16 PM   #10  
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What about the companies that have spent MILLIONS of dollars on the advertising campaigns that they have put into the prime-time airwave slots?? Granted it's not over a billion dollars like the government is spending, but it's also not chump change to these companies that made these ads.

I'd bet they're none to happy about this...
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Old 01-08-2009, 05:26 PM   #11  
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This is just a little problem that some people want to make big so they can look like a hero. For months now analog signals have been displaying banners atop the screen saying that the service is ending. There has been ads running all the time showing what people need to do.

This just looks like to me is people are trying to hoard coupons to get these boxes for cheap so they can turn around and sell them on ebay to the few people who dragger their feet. For the vast majority who get their signal via sat or cable they will just wonder WTF is all the big deal.

Keep the date, display a message telling how to get a box for another few weeks and deal with the outcome. Delaying it will just mean that any problems happen a week/ month/ or what ever amount of time later. With all of the real problems this man has to deal with this isn't one of them.
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Old 01-08-2009, 05:31 PM   #12  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nded View Post
Seems to be sort of the opposite of "change" to me
Change = go to the digital TV format

No change = leave the analog TV format in place.

Oh - and in the process - hurt police and fire departments that need parts of that old analog spectrum that they can get once analog OTA goes away.
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Old 01-08-2009, 05:59 PM   #13  
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The almighty deity on earth has spoken. Waters will part, oceans will recede, and the Satanic digital conversion shall not happen. We all know it was just a ploy by the Bush administration to try to prevent the poor and elderly from accessing the news media.....

OK, turning off the sarcasm switch now.

Why are we delaying the process after billions have been spent and saying we need to spend more for 7% of the population? SEVEN PERCENT!!!!!!! Absolute idiocy.

Rant over. I'm done.
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Old 01-08-2009, 06:04 PM   #14  
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Everyone is acting like the DTV transition is something that just happened.

Try 2001:

http://www.fcc.gov/dtv/

They have had over 7 years to prepare for this.

Typical political . . . . . . .
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Old 01-08-2009, 10:18 PM   #15  
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Not only it is true that the analog to digital TV program is broken, but I can already imagine people getting up in arms, thinking that the world is over after "the muslim" got into the White House, screaming "Whar's mah TV? This ain't wawkin'! ah knowed thet guy warn't enny fine, Ma! Fry mah hide! Kids, t'th' shelter! Git mah rifle!"


Hey hatt, when I read this I thought of you. I know your ready, because I am.
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