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Breaking News: Senate votes to delay DTV transition four months


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#141 OFFLINE   4HiMarks

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 09:22 AM

My guess the big cities will hold off, since they likely have the most people who "aren't ready".


I think it will be exactly opposite. IMO, big cities, with smaller lots, apartment buildings, etc. are more likely to have much higher cable penetration, and also have a higher income level more able to afford cable and satellite. In rural areas where it was never economical to run cable between houses that are miles apart, and incomes are low, more people rely on OTA.

The number of people who "aren't ready" in big cities might be higher, but the percentage of a station's audience is probably much lower. That is what they are going to look at.

"If we cut off now, we lose a few percent of our audience, but we save $xxx thousands by not having to transmit two signals. Overall, bottom line increases. Flip the switch."
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#142 OFFLINE   SParker

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 09:32 AM

The NAB is a strong lobby group. I'm surprised they aren't fighting tooth and nail against this since most stations are against it. The Senate pulled a real stupid move especially with all the ads running. Will they dub over the dates in the commercials? Also June 12th is a Friday, way to go idiot Senators!

#143 OFFLINE   bnwrx

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 09:35 AM

You know. I'm old enough to remember the days when not every household even HAD a TV!! Technology moves along and as a consumer you have to move along with it or be left out of the loop. Its just the way it has always been. When color TV first started, it was years before all households had one. For a few dollars ($40) those supposed homes who do not have a converter can get one. I'll bet that come June there will still be cries from people about not being ready for the switch. Lost in all of this are the millions of dollars spent by local Fire and Police depts. on new equipment to take advantage of the new radio spectrums they will have to better communicate with each other. Now everthing goes on hold till June and we have to keep watching those damn commercials about the converter boxes!! Just my 2 cents

#144 OFFLINE   Pepster

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 09:39 AM

The vote in the House is tentatively scheduled for today. Better move fast.


I just turned on C-Span (House). The three items listed for 12:00 today are, Wage Discrimination, Economic Stimulus Debate & Delay of Digital TV Transition.

#145 OFFLINE   Stuart Sweet

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 09:43 AM

The NAB is a strong lobby group. I'm surprised they aren't fighting tooth and nail against this since most stations are against it. The Senate pulled a real stupid move especially with all the ads running. Will they dub over the dates in the commercials? Also June 12th is a Friday, way to go idiot Senators!


I don't know what they'll do with the commercials... this has been a real drain on broadcasters because all that commercial time could have been sold.
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#146 OFFLINE   bobukcat

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 09:44 AM

Don't get me started on the missed chance to go metric!:nono2:


Yes, it was actually passed as a "guidance" all the way back in the late 19th century and several other times since then (most recently the 70s). Because no hard date was ever set it's never happened and in fact we've lost just about all momentum it ever had. It hurts American businesses every day and drives up costs of products from all countries that are sold here. That's my complaint with this delay, a hard date was set, then it was moved and now it's moving again, only this time less than one month before said deadline.

As for the arguments that stations have the option of shutting off their Analog broadcast on the 17th, there are still many that can't transition to their new digital spectrum until others in their area shut their analog off. If I'm running a station I don't see a compelling argument for making the switch a two part effort.

#147 OFFLINE   n3ntj

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 09:48 AM

The DTV switch delay is just about to become law..

Here we go again.. the dumbing down of America continues..

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#148 OFFLINE   Stuart Sweet

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 09:48 AM

To go very quickly off topic, the fact is that we are metric all the way to the end user. Science, technology, manufacturing, is all done to metric standards and the final product is sold in the English system.

To get back on topic, I await a statement from any broadcaster who says he will continue spending money to reach the approximately 1% of his market who probably does not watch television habitually anyway.
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#149 OFFLINE   JLucPicard

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 09:52 AM

(...donning my asbestos suit...)

First I'll say, planners at the TV stations would have to plan for a February 17 hard date, but if any of them didn't also consider what they would do in the event of a delay, that would seem to me to be VERY short-sighted planning on their part. I'm sure the majority of them have already had contingency plans ready whether that meant switching on 2/17 anyway or working with/around the delay.

Secondly, I agree with the poster who already worked with those in his family to make sure they were ready. I, too, made sure the couple of people in my family who would need to requested coupons, then bought them boxes when they got them. However, there are a lot of people who do not have someone looking out for them like that and may be, in fact, rather clueless.

I work at a non-profit service organization, and they have been asking employees if we come across anyone who has a coupon they will not be using and would like to donate it (not a tax deduction, by the way :)), they are trying to help people make the transition and could use the help. I would imagine that there are similar things going on with other service/community organizations as well. And it isn't just the elderly, it could be low income families with children, etc. (sorry, compassion on my sleeve somethimes).

Yes, there are some who won't even make an attempt to be ready by June. There are others (as so eloquently laid out by someone in an earlier post :() who may have trouble even affording their utilities, etc., but these are people that could be helped by the delay.

That being said, come on, people, get off your butts!!! :)

It's like suffering through MONTHS of campaign ads, finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel with Nov 2 on the horizon, and still almost THREE MONTHS later hearing about the senate race every day! ENOUGH!!!! :D

#150 OFFLINE   fluffybear

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 10:06 AM

2/17/2009 -- make all analog broadcast B&W -- that should get their attention.


While I like this idea, I was thinking more in the way of every 5 minutes, they show a screen for 30 seconds with the message:

YOUR TV is not ready for the Digital Transition!

If you would like to see this show in it's entirety & without these messages, you need to act NOW!


It might also help if one of the networks (let us say NBC) request their affiliates to start early. February 1, 2009 sounds like a good date. My guess is if this happens a couple of times during the Super Bowl Pre-game show, the number of households not ready for the transition will be down by over 50% by kick-off

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#151 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 10:13 AM

I'm no attorney but it seems to me if you were planning to shut down on 2/17 and you still want to plan to do that, you can. If you want to read the text of Senate 328, as passed yesterday: http://thomas.loc.go...z?d111:s.00328:

The issue would be the priority ... can and may are two different issues.

See the examples posted earlier. Does changing the date prohibit WANE-TV from going to full power digital and WBBM from moving to the better channel 12?

For these stations (and MANY others) digtal transition is more than just turning off an analog transmitter. It requires other stations to go along with the plan.

I need to put my "lawyer brain" on and read it again ... but I don't see a protection for stations changing to digital. Just that vague language that the FCC is going to have to figure out the meaning of.

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#152 OFFLINE   jodavis

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 10:15 AM

No Matter what is done as far as delay or warnings there is a group of people who won't get off their butts until their TV actually stops working. Flip the switch now while everyone is ready. I can think of several businesses that have made preparations for the Feb 17th date (Broadcasters, Retailers, Public Safety Orgs, and Wireless Carriers). It's not fair to the companies that bought the spectrum to delay.
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#153 OFFLINE   Kansas Zephyr

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 10:18 AM

Big media is scared sh*tless that millions of households won't have converter boxes installed by the Feb. 17th date, which, coincidentally, is during one of the "sweeps weeks" for broadcasters. Millions of eyeballs not able to watch TV will mean millions in lost advertising revenue in a time when TV is already showing declining viewership among the more coveted demographics. Broadcasters prefer putting off the deadline till the beginning of summer when most everything on TV are reruns and viewership is at its lowest.

First, the "Feb book" was moved to March this year, because of the 2/17 date.

Also, there are now un-budgeted expenses to run analog longer. That may cost even more jobs (great government induced "stimulus", huh?)...Allbritton had a big purge Monday. Gannett has implemented forced furloughs, among other broadcast companies that are laying off. Please "google" around and see what's happening.

No, the local broadcasters are NOT fans of the delay. Just call your local stations and ask the management.

The networks, on the other hand, don't care. They own a few stations in only big markets, and have better cash flow.

Edited by Kansas Zephyr, 27 January 2009 - 10:26 AM.

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#154 OFFLINE   KSbugeater

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 10:47 AM

On the bright side, I get to use my analog TVs and my one DVD recorder with a hard-disk but only an analog tuner for another 4 months... also, my big-screen only has an analog tuner built-in so once analog goes away the PIP tuner is worthless...

Edited by KSbugeater, 27 January 2009 - 10:56 AM.


#155 OFFLINE   ziggy29

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 10:51 AM

Some stations are still planning on shutting down analog "on time" anyway. One of the silver linings about this crappy economy is that businesses are looking for ways to cut costs everywhere, and that may make them more likely to kill one of their signals to save on power costs. That's probably especially true for stations which are moving their digital signal from UHF to VHF.

#156 OFFLINE   LCDSpazz

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 10:52 AM

CBS in Chicagoland is stuck in low band VHF interference hell for another 4 months.:(

#157 OFFLINE   loudo

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 10:52 AM

It is not like it is a big surprise, we have only know and had a chance to prepare for it for about this for 4 years now. For the past year most TV stations have had programs anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes talking about it. There have been numerous articles in the paper. How much more information do these people need? Some stations have already stopped their analog signals and others are planning to do so soon.

It won't make any difference putting it off until June. The same handful of procrastinators will still not be ready when June rolls around.

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#158 OFFLINE   joblo

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 10:57 AM

From avsforum’s http://www.avsforum....ostcount=29014'>Hot Off The Press:

[FONT="] Digital Transition Notes [/FONT]
[FONT="] [/FONT]NAB Gives Full Support to DTV Delay Plan[FONT="] [/FONT]
[FONT="] [/FONT]Wharton praises Senate's unanimous passage of legislation[FONT="] [/FONT]
[FONT="]By John Eggerton, Broadcasting & Cable Washington Bureau Chief, January 27, 2009[/FONT]

[FONT="]http://www.broadcast..._Delay_Plan.php[/FONT]

I think the NAB wants to save its chits for a higher priority issue.

Sorry, folks, but this thing is done. The President wants it; the President's party has a commanding majority in the House; the Senate, which is the chamber where minorities have the power to derail things, has signed on by unanimous consent; and now you have the NAB.

You won't get unanimous consent in the House, but it would take Katrina-level incompetence for the House leadership not to produce a majority at this point.

Edited by joblo, 27 January 2009 - 11:02 AM.
Fixed link


#159 OFFLINE   dennispap

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 11:06 AM

[quote name='samhevener'][quote name='dennispap']Shouldnt be any changes in your or any stations plans.The delay is voluntary. Any station that wants to make the change on the original date is free to do so. If any station chooses to continue the analog signal then that's their choice.


You are incorrect. The senate bill, the house bill may be changed, states stations that release frequencies that are going to be used by public safety can shut down early. Public safety is only 18% of the total frequency being released and, I think, would only be 18% of those stations that are now broadcasting analog on channels 51-69. Any station that is now broadcasting analog on channels 2-50 can not shut down early. http://www.dbstalk.c...ad.php?t=147758[/QUOTE]

Well the New orleans fox affiliate was broadcasting on analog 8 and they shut down their analog signal Dec 15,2008 and they have said they will not turn their analog broadcast back on.

#160 OFFLINE   Tom Robertson

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 11:07 AM

Be very careful with the political commentary. Snide remarks will be deleted and infractions have been issued.

This is a thread about government actions a political topic, so but we can stick to very basic facts about what has happened without political innuendo or commentary.

Thanks,
Tom

Edited by Tom Robertson, 27 January 2009 - 12:06 PM.
Some good suggestions for phrasing

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