The Digital TV Transition that was originally scheduled to happen on February 17th, then delayed by the Senate to June 12th, but killed by the House of Reps is now looking to be delayed yet again.
Realizing that there are going to be some 6.5 million people without television come the morning of Feb 18th, and the fact that the program to issue discount coupons for converters ran out of money and has a backlog of 2.5 million people, the Senate unanimously passed a bill last week to delay the transition to June 12th. However the House of Representatives this week ended up not passing the bill by the required 2/3 majority. Undaunted, the Senate late Thursday pushed through and passed a revised bill to delay the transition to June 12th again. This one is expected to pass the House and President Obama is eager to sign it into law.
I've never seen Congress move so fast in an effort to delay something. The irony is pretty impressive.
However, at TV Technology magazine reported, delaying the transition to June will cost a lot of companies a lot of money:
“It’s quite problematic,” Don Doty, co-founder of tower Doty Moore Tower Services, said of a potential delay. “There are literally millions of dollars of contracts around the country for people to move at the last minute.”The House is set to vote on the revised delay bill as early as next Wednesday.
Work is needed to move DTV antennas to the preferred positions on towers, and some stations are waiting for analog transmissions to cease so their DTV signals can shift to those channels. Public-safety and wireless users may delay plans for rollout and testing; and the costs of the changes will trickle down to other companies, including many small businesses.
“The coordination for the transition had been in place, in some cases, for years,” Doty said. “There are many, many, hundreds of companies affected in a negative way.”
However, over-the-air full-power broadcast TV stations that are ready now can still turn off their analog signals on Feb 17th if they want.
I really didnt think this could get any more confusing, but apparently Congress found a way.
And in case you need to know how to prepare for the coming analog apocalypse, here's a little instruction video: