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Breaking News: House refuses to fast track DTV Delay Act


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#121 OFFLINE   Bobby H

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 06:47 PM

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.

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#122 OFFLINE   Tom Robertson

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 07:11 PM

The message from the Senate has arrived, concurring to the House Concurrent Resolution 26: Adjourn until 2pm EST on Monday Feb 2. (Glad I poked to find that resolution when the Senate concurred.) :)

The Thomas page: http://frwebgate.acc...43&position=all

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#123 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 07:19 PM

To me, the lead up to this February 17 deadline reminds me of how so many people behave regarding Tax Day.

It reminds me of part of last night's debate:

Mr. SHIMKUS.
What I did today was I asked when was income tax day enacted into law, 1955. Everyone knows April 15 is the day you pay your taxes. Guess how many people we had not pay their taxes on April 15 last year, 12 million people, advertised, historic, annual.

12 million people don't pay their taxes on time ... under 6 million households are not ready for the digital transition. Let's delay tax day until more people are ready. :D

#124 OFFLINE   normang

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 07:42 PM

12 million people don't pay their taxes on time ... under 6 million households are not ready for the digital transition. Let's delay tax day until more people are ready. :D


That works for me... We'd never have to pay taxes again...:D:D:D
Norm


#125 OFFLINE   CyberTrip02

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 07:57 PM

But, but ... Isn't the delay being proposed because over 6 million folks want to buy a converter box but can't (for whatever reason)? That hardly sounds like people affected are not in the know. :confused:


6 million people.... Those statistics are blown way out of proportion. Besides, 6 million is only 2% of the population of the US.... There's nothing that can be done about it. When people lose their stations they will complain and then they will buy converter boxes. The solution here is to let the issue fix itself.

#126 OFFLINE   Tom Robertson

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 08:20 PM

6 million people.... Those statistics are blown way out of proportion. Besides, 6 million is only 2% of the population of the US.... There's nothing that can be done about it. When people lose their stations they will complain and then they will buy converter boxes. The solution here is to let the issue fix itself.


I believe the figure is 6 million households or about 6%. (rough math.)

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My real treasures: 5 Grandchildren - S, D, M, M, C ; Now 5! Great-Grandtibbers - B, H, J, A, and M (Born 7/31/2011)


#127 OFFLINE   robmadden1

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 09:01 PM

House Republicans shoot down a four-month delay in the DTV switchover

But some GOP leaders like Joe Barton of Texas and Cliff Stearns of Florida write Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi with their own proposal for an alternative – which they say parallels what Capitol Hill leaders worked on before the Obama Administration threw its own recommendation into the process. The Senate passed a delay bill – unanimously – but the House today failed to approve the same bill by at least a two-thirds majority. The vote was 258 to 168. Some opponents were worried about confusion among the millions of Americans who still take their television signals off the air, and haven’t yet bought a DTV converter or a compatible new TV set. The FCC is now talking about a massive program of public service announcements, which will likely include radio, to get the word about the February 17 DTV switchover from analog to digital.

http://www.radio-inf...-dtv-switchover

#128 OFFLINE   Mightyram

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 09:02 PM

In some places it is true that the stations will broadcast on more power in the future. (I won't give a date at this point.) :)

The key is if they are causing interference to existing analog stations. If they might be, the are likely at reduced power. Or if they are going to shift to another frequency, they might be.

But in areas with no interference, a station that isn't shifting is likely at full power now.

Cheers,
Tom


Actually some stations are broadcasting analog and digital from the same tower with digital signal at a lower power. This is because there can be only be so much effective radiated power from the antenna per FCC regulations. Once the Analog shuts off then they can increase the power to the digital signal.

EDIT: Also, the height of the antenna determines how much power is allowed to be used...the higher the antenna the lower the ERP - effective radiated power around the base of the tower.

"Biological effects can result from exposure to RF energy. Biological effects that result from heating of tissue by RF energy are often referred to as "thermal" effects. It has been known for many years that exposure to very high levels of RF radiation can be harmful due to the ability of RF energy to heat biological tissue rapidly. This is the principle by which microwave ovens cook food."

http://www.fcc.gov/o...ty/rf-faqs.html

Edited by Mightyram, 28 January 2009 - 09:15 PM.


#129 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 10:03 PM

Only 3.2 million on the wait list (up from 2.5 million last week).
21.7 million redeemed, 10.9 million outstanding, 14.3 million expired.
(20.7, 11.7 and 14.0 million last week, respectively.)

1 million redeemed this week and only 300k more expired.
Freeing up the wait list and reissuing expired coupons would be enough.

#130 OFFLINE   the_batman

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 10:32 PM

If TV is that important then spend the $40. Less then 50 cents a week since this was announced.

#131 OFFLINE   samhevener

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 04:14 AM

"It's not over until it's over." Quote from a famous American.
AN OLD GEEZER WHO REMEMBERS THE DUMONT TELEVISION NETWORK AND IT'S TOP RATED "CAPTAIN VIDEO AND HIS VIDEO RANGERS", TV NEWS ANCHORMEN WEARING HATS DURING THE NEWSCAST, ONLY 180 SECONDS OF COMMERICALS EACH HALF HOUR, 3 STATIONS ON THE AIR WITH THEIR TEST PATTERNS AIRED FROM 2 TO 3PM, PROGRAMMING FROM 3PM TO 11:30 AND SIGNING OFF AT 11:30PM. HOW COULD I FORGET THE SINGLE FRAME VERTICAL ROLL WHEN THE STATIONS SWITCHED FROM NETWORK TO LOCAL OR LOCAL TO NETWORK AND THE TIME TONE ON THE HOUR.

#132 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 04:46 AM

Or perhaps "If you don't know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else."

I believe that is where Rockefeller/Wexler are going. Somewhere else than they say they are going.

"The other teams could make trouble for us if they win." and
"You wouldn't have won if we'd beaten you." are also good. :)

#133 OFFLINE   Pepster

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 05:15 AM

House Republicans shoot down a four-month delay in the DTV switchover

But some GOP leaders like Joe Barton of Texas and Cliff Stearns of Florida write Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi with their own proposal for an alternative – which they say parallels what Capitol Hill leaders worked on before the Obama Administration threw its own recommendation into the process. The Senate passed a delay bill – unanimously – but the House today failed to approve the same bill by at least a two-thirds majority. The vote was 258 to 168. Some opponents were worried about confusion among the millions of Americans who still take their television signals off the air, and haven’t yet bought a DTV converter or a compatible new TV set. The FCC is now talking about a massive program of public service announcements, which will likely include radio, to get the word about the February 17 DTV switchover from analog to digital.

http://www.radio-inf...-dtv-switchover


I see this article on the tvpredictions website this morning.

http://www.tvpredict...sedtv012909.htm

I hope not. I'd rather see it just be done & over with.

#134 OFFLINE   thomas_d92

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 06:11 AM

Here in Fresno,Ca. NBC and PBS stations are turning off Feb.17 and other stations may follow even if extension is passed.. They claim excessive power bills for running 2 transmitters.

#135 OFFLINE   johnp37

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 07:19 AM

If TV is that important then spend the $40. Less then 50 cents a week since this was announced.

Good point. The transition has saturated the airwaves for months now, and if there are people out there that have not gotten the message, they have not been watching tv anyway so let's get this DONE!

#136 OFFLINE   txtommy

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 07:26 AM

'When you come to the fork in the road, take it."
“People ask me what I do in the winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.” -- Rogers Hornsby

#137 OFFLINE   jpl

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 07:49 AM

I see this article on the tvpredictions website this morning.

http://www.tvpredict...sedtv012909.htm

I hope not. I'd rather see it just be done & over with.


I just don't think this is going to happen. While Swanni is right that the majority party in congress wouldn't want to hand their president a defeat, there's a more powerful motivator - self-preservation. I just think it would look really ridiculous, and wasteful, to see members of Congress debate something like this. It would just LOOK politically motivated to have a debate 2 weeks before the transition was set to happen. I think it would make those pushing for this look, frankly, politically motivated. I just don't see how having that debate makes them look good on this. Get a couple republicans up there pointing out the obvious flaws in this bill (the fact that it leaves stations on their own to decide whether to shut off their analogs on the 17th or not... the fact that part of the spectrum has already been sold off... the cost to TV stations for maintaining two different feeds) and the public starts wondering why in the world Congress would waste time on something like this at this point. Again, I'm not trying to get political about this - but this is a political issue. Whether this bill is doable or not is really not the point. Swanni's right in that it IS doable. Politically, though, it's not viable.

#138 OFFLINE   HIPAR

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 08:16 AM

'When you come to the fork in the road, take it."


Or is it something like this:

"Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?"
"That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the Cat.
"I don’t much care where--" said Alice.
"Then it doesn’t matter which way you go," said the Cat.
"--so long as I get SOMEWHERE," Alice added as an explanation.
"Oh, you’re sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough."

--- CHAS
But I don't want to go among mad people

#139 ONLINE   harsh

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 08:50 AM

Something that the coupon advocates may not have considered: the darn things expire. Many early coupon grabbers had no desirable options and they aren't eligible under the current plan to get new coupons.

#140 OFFLINE   jefbal99

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 08:55 AM

Something that the coupon advocates may not have considered: the darn things expire. Many early coupon grabbers had no desirable options and they aren't eligible under the current plan to get new coupons.


That's what happened to me, i got the coupons but there weren't any boxes available in my area that were eligible.
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