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Old December 10th, 2007, 03:48 PM   #1
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Just watching NBC - they started advertising a website detailing the switch to digital TV and the deadline: February 17, 2009. And it seems like the coupon thing for the converter box is no longer a joke, families can soon apply for up to 2 $40 coupons toward the purchase of up to two converters on a government website.

"Between Jan. 1, 2008, and March 31, 2009, all U.S. households will be eligible to request up to two coupons, worth $40 each, to be used toward the purchase of up to two, digital-to-analog converter boxes. For more information about the converter box coupon program, call 1-888-DTV-2009 or visit www.ntia.doc.gov/dtvcoupon ".

See www.dtvanswers.com for more - the website is operated by the National Broadcasters Association (NAB).
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Old February 5th, 2009, 08:12 AM   #2
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Sounds more like "questions"... not answers...

When in the world are we going to finally go digital??? It has been pushed back again by another four months...

washingtonpost.com
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Old February 5th, 2009, 11:29 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Ervin Farkas View Post
When in the world are we going to finally go digital??? It has been pushed back again by another four months...[/url]
Well, not really "again." This is the first delay.

It's a good thing too. Everybody talks about digital converters, but nobody seems to talk about antennas. Do people really want to be going up on their roofs to install a new antenna in February?
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Old February 5th, 2009, 12:02 PM   #4
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The cut-off date set by the Telecommunications Act of 1996 and the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 was December 31, 2006. True, the same document allowed several exceptions that could extend the deadline.

Congress has delayed this date - and this is what I called the first delay.
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Old February 5th, 2009, 01:09 PM   #5
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That's correct, the nominal transition date was Dec 31, 2006, set a decade earlier; however, it was only effective in the case that 85% of households have televisions that can receive digital signals. The nominal date wasn't delayed. The requirements simply weren't met, so the date expired, and the analog channels remain.

http://www.ece.cmu.edu/~peha/DTV.pdf

Feb 17, 2009 was the first "hard" transition date. And it is truly being delayed.

It's no surprise, given the change in administration. The previous administration set a date that they wouldn't be responsible for, and Congress compromised to create an underfunded program. The new administration inherited a date and program that they didn't define or design. If it fails, the new administration gets the blame and has to pick up the pieces. Based on what we saw in Wilmington, the news media will spill a lot more ink on the failures than the successes.

(BTW, I'm not favoring one political party over the other on this topic. It's just human nature to push problems to somebody else - and to not want to be on the hook for somebody else's past promises.)

Anyway, I think we both understand the date situation. It's just a matter of terms. There were three dates (to your point), and only two of them were "hard" transition dates (to my point.)
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