Jun 12, 2009 | 8
Today marks the deadline for broadcasters throughout the United States to switch their signals from analog to digital, a move that's been debated, decried and delayed by the government, broadcasters and viewers alike.
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has heavily promoted the switch to digital TV, with acting FCC Chairman Michael Copps encouraging the move by pointing out that the transition will allow stations to provide more free over-the-air channels than the single channel they've been using under the analog system.
Still, even after Congress delayed the cutover date from February 17 to June 12 in order to give viewers without cable, satellite or digital televisions more time to buy and install a digital converter box, an estimated 2.8 million American households, or 2.5 percent of the television market, are "completely unready" for the transition, according to the Nielsen Company.
Jan 9, 2009 | 15
Lovers of analog TV may get a reprieve from the scheduled February 18 transition to digital television. President-elect Barack Obama wants to delay next month's nationwide transition, arguing that there isn’t enough money to back the program.
As of now, February 17 is the last day that broadcasters will be allowed to transmit analog signals. But Congress, which signed off on the switch to DTV four years ago, has temporarily run out of coupons for people to buy discounted converter boxes that translate digital signal transmissions to analog sets, according to The New York Times. Nearly 19 million of the coupons have been redeemed, but more than one million more requests are on hold. (The coupons are for $40, and basic converters cost about $50, the Times notes.)
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