To me, the lead up to this February 17 deadline reminds me of how so many people behave regarding Tax Day. Lots of people wait until the last minute to file their taxes, even when they know they may be waiting in super long lines at the post office or dealing with all sorts of other headaches. I even know people who have waited until April 15 to file their taxes even though they knew they were getting a refund. They procrastinate on filling out the forms, even when they know they're going to get some money because the paperwork process seems like "homework" to them.
It takes some effort for people to go through the process of getting those converter box coupons. Maybe some of those affected viewers don't want to deal with the bureaucratic hassle.
I think a lot of people are going to wait until the last minute regardless of whether the deadline is 2/17 or 6/12. When the deadline passes I think we'll see a lot of people merely spending $50 for the converter boxes just to be done with it.
I'm hoping this DTV Delay bill doesn't make it back to the floor of the House of Representatives for a vote. By the time they manage to do that the February 17 deadline will be just 2 weeks in the future. That's far too little time to suddenly change plans.
Local TV stations have to proceed as if the February 17 deadline is not going to change. More than a few are already so far along with their plans that they at least need the option of shutting off the analog signal after the original deadline.
I heard one claim in another forum that TV stations have budgeted running both DTV and analog signals for all of 2009. Even if the claim was true the current, sorry state of our economy and declining TV ad revenues have cut that budget plan to shreds.
Does anyone have a link or info on the history of the delays in this analog shutdown? I know that this latest attempt wouldn't have been the first (or even second) time that the analogue shutdown was delayed.
May of 2006 was the previous analog signal shut off deadline. But that was pushed to 2/17/09 by a bill passed in 2005. I think that May 2006 deadline was set in the mid 1990s as a 10 year long transition period from the time when major networks began to deliver OTA HD broadcasts.
On the distance thing, is it not true that once analog goes off the digital transmitters will be ramped up a bit to increase reception? That is what I heard numerous times from people and it seems logical.
Many DTV signals are currently being broadcast at low power for 2 reasons. 1: avoiding signal interference with neighboring analog channels. 2: saving money on power costs.
Once a TV station's DTV signal goes to full power it should yield a very noticeable difference on reception quality and stability as well as ability to receive the signal at significantly farther distances. I never could get good reception of our NBC affiliate's analog OTA signal, but I'm getting excellent reception of their full power DTV signal.