Thursday, January 29, 2009

House Says No To DTV Delay

While we're on the subject of wimpiness (see post below), we were happy to see the House of Representatives get a spine and put a stop to the effort to delay the digital television (DTV) transition.

Pres. Obama asked for a delay after reports surfaced that millions of people with older televisions aren't ready for the transition and hence will lose their television signal when the transition occurs in mid-February. The Senate obliged him with a unanimous vote in favor of pushing the transition back by six months.

The House, however, balked. That's brave, because House members, who are pretty much up for election all the time, will be the first to hear from their constituents when the televisions go to static next month.

The House made the right call. The only way many of the stragglers are going to get the message on DTV is to have their TV screens go blank. Whether it occurs next month, or in six months, there will still be a large number of folks who just haven't bothered to get going, so why wait? Meanwhile, huge investments have been made in the transition, and they shouldn't be delayed.

Some people who DO make the conversion will be in for a rude shock, however. DTV signals do not travel as far as analog signals. So some viewers who are on the margins of analog signals will find they get nothing--nada--in the DTV world.

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