Digital TV transition delayed

Tiffany Smith

Unsuspecting watchers of non-digital TV, technophobes, cheapskates and those who just plain prefer tuning their antennae to analog signals can rest easy for another four months, the AP reports.

 

After the measure received Senate approval last week, the U.S. House voted this afternoon to delay the transition to digital-only broadcasting from February 17 to June 12, and the bill will go to Obama’s desk where he’s expected to sign it. The Obama administration and Congressional Democrats welcomed the move, saying Americans weren’t ready for the transition and pointing out the Commerce Department has delayed distributing digital-conversion box coupons since reaching a funding limit last month.

 

Though TV stations still have the option to switch to digital-only broadcasting before June, opponents cited drawbacks: consumer confusion, the added cost to TV stations of broadcasting both digital and analog signals, and delays for wireless and public safety organizations waiting for additional for airwave space.

 

If you still haven’t gotten a converter box coupon, get in line now. At least you’ll be in good company — according to the AP article, the Commerce Department has 3.7 million unfilled coupon requests, and is only providing them as unredeemed coupons expire.