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Breaking News: Senate passes another DTV Delay Act, Goes to House Floor

Discussion in 'Local Reception' started by James Long, Jan 29, 2009.

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  1. Jan 30, 2009 #81 of 216

    ViVi Duplicate User (Account Closed)

    Jan 30, 2009
    I noticed while watching "Hell's Kitchen" last night that there promo has changed and now says something int he way of "in the coming months you will learn more about the digital transition". They then flash a screen at the end of the promo with the February 17th date.
  2. Jan 30, 2009 #82 of 216
    Tom Robertson

    Tom Robertson Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

    Nov 15, 2005
    How about were able to buy the TV in 1985.
    Worked to pay for the electricity until 1987.
    Now retired.
    No longer quite up to working on said TV.

    Or someone bought the TV for them and hooked it up for them. (And set the VCR time for them.)

    How about...

    I'm not for extending. I think it will only make things much, much more confusing and not really help.

    But I do have some compassion for people who would find it difficult to do this themselves at this point in their lives. Even if they could fix your car 30 years ago...

  3. Jan 30, 2009 #83 of 216

    hasan Well-Known Member

    Sep 22, 2006
    Ogden, IA
    Which completely ignores the coupon availability problems, the box availability problems and the dysfunctional phone system. Don't be so quick to assign blame to only one party, as there's plenty to go around.

    Fortunately, our votes won't count for much and they will do whatever suits them. We just end up having to live with it.:)
  4. Jan 30, 2009 #84 of 216
    James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Apr 17, 2003
    The people in the most need probably have not purchased a TV set in the past 10 years. TVs last a while.

    They probably don't know how much their TV is costing them in electricity and it may be all that they have to connect them with the world outside that door.

    That being said, assuming all 1800+ stations all left their analog transmitters on until June 12th those problems will still exist on June 13th. At some point education ends and one has to put that education to good use.

    Current figures show 30% of all TV stations will be all digital by or on February 18th. That number is likely to grow. We're going to get a phased in transition. Just think of the new date as an "extended nightlight".

    I don't believe the date should be changed ... but as long as the STATIONS are honest about when THEY will be turning off analog it will work out OK.
  5. Jan 30, 2009 #85 of 216

    davidatl14 Icon

    Mar 24, 2006

    Beg to differ, not ignoring anything just understanding that all programs like the coupon program will be flawed it's just a matter of to what degree.

    Nothing changes by extending the date, instead of (6.5M) amount not being ready there will now be (6.495M) not ready and the same people will still be making excuses and want another extension.

    Just cut to the chase, pull the plug.

    On a side note on the coupon program, (just my opinion) which I acknowledge up front will be in the minority, there wouldn't have been a coupon program at all. Make the PSA for a set period of time, set a hard date and follow through.
  6. Jan 30, 2009 #86 of 216

    lwilli201 Hall Of Fame

    Dec 22, 2006
    I doubt there is anything in this bill that will help the elderly who do not have the knowledge to understand what is going on, and are not capable of connecting the box, and will not be able to replace their antenna if required. I have no sympathy for the procrastinators and those that do not wish to keep up with what is going on around them. The elderly are the most vulnerable and there is nothing, it appears, that will help them no matter how long it is delayed. Without caring and knowledgeable relatives or friends, they will be in the dark.
  7. Jan 30, 2009 #87 of 216

    jpl Hall Of Fame

    Jul 9, 2006
    Look, I have compassion for them too (didn't mean to come across that harshly), but I'm frankly a little tired of the 'world is going to end for these people unless the government does something' stuff. I've offered my services to more than one person to help them through this - my wife's 90+ year old grandparents, e.g. A VAST majority of people will be fine with this. At the end of the day, $40 is not alot to ask someone to shoulder to keep watching TV - that's my point. It's like the people who tell me that they're on fixed incomes, but they have plenty of money to play the lottery. Of all the people I know who got the coupons I can honestly say not a single one of them needed the assistance. The program was never meant to be all things to all people to begin with. If we're looking to ensure that no one is left without TV with the transition, we may as well scrap the whole thing right now. Anything that's done - any change that's made - will cause someone to be in the dark.

    Yes, I feel for those people... I really do. But I also believe that people aren't as helpless as many like to paint them. One final point - this bill, instead of helping people, I believe will make things worse. It'll add to the confusion... it'll cost the companies who spent the money on the bandwidth money, at a time when we really can't afford to be doing that to these companies. We have all sorts of fees and taxes that go along with these services. I don't see anyone screaming, e.g., that we should eliminate all the federal taxes on phone service... how much more does that affect people than a single $40 charge for an adapter that will last them for years? Not to get political about this, but we having these same people pay all sorts of fees and taxes for very basic services, but the thought of having to have them shell out $40 for an adapter is unreasonable? I guess I just fail to see it.
  8. Jan 30, 2009 #88 of 216

    txtommy Icon

    Dec 30, 2006
    From the DTV website FAQ's:

    How many of the 6.5 million households fall into one of the above categories? Unless the rules are changed these people will never be able to use a coupon to purchase a box no matter how long we postpone the change.
  9. Jan 30, 2009 #89 of 216
    James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Apr 17, 2003
    The pending legislation will allow reissues of expired coupons but not lost and stolen coupons. A good idea, since coupons are issued to individuals as long as the NTIA tracked the coupons by who they sent them to and can tell who's coupons went expired a reissue should be possible.

    Lost or stolen ... as long as they were not used they would be expired. Otherwise it comes down to who is responsible if, say, someone stole your social security benefit or tax refund. The government? Personal responsibility plays a role.

    The bad news is that there are several house bills that have been waiting in committee since early January that could have fixed the coupons. Yet nothing was done with those bills. If coupons are the problem coupons should be the solution. Not delay.
  10. Jan 30, 2009 #90 of 216

    capegator Legend

    Sep 14, 2007
    Wow. Ok, I guess my point was stated too subtlety. I am certainly glad that you have a battery powered radio at work. You obviously have internet access. Since you are posting on a site devoted to discussion on satellite television, I would assume that you probably have a subscription to satellite television.

    What much of the discussion here was regarding were the people who obviously do not have all of the accouterments that you enjoy. Their analog television is their link to the outside world, and disturbing that link could lead to these unfortunate souls to venture upon their roofs on a cold February evening to adjust their antennas. I assume that was what the PBS engineer in Iowa was referring to when he spoke of a switch in February.

    My point regarding postponing the switch to June, during the Atlantic Hurricane season, was meant to demonstrate that any time that the switch is made will be problematic for some. A switch in June, while a storm is threatening the Atlantic coast, could lead to a lack of distribution of emergency information by emergency managers and a threat to individuals injuring themselves by trying to adjust an antenna upon their roof.

    You see, it doesn't, in my humble estimation, help to delay the switch for any period of time because there will be a population that doesn't not know and cannot adapt easily.

    Congress should get on with it. Help those that need help after the switch, whenever it happens. [] Enjoy your radio.

  11. Jan 30, 2009 #91 of 216

    homeskillet Icon

    Feb 3, 2004
    According to information from the Kansas Association of Broadcasters all commercial/public television stations in the state of Kansas will switch to Digital only on Feb. 17 no matter what. This includes the markets of Wichita, Topeka, Pittsburg, and Kansas City.
  12. Jan 30, 2009 #92 of 216
    Tom Robertson

    Tom Robertson Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

    Nov 15, 2005
    Thanks for the update, homeskillet!
  13. Jan 31, 2009 #93 of 216

    rug1000 Cool Member

    Jan 20, 2007
    The House Committee on Rules recently announced a meeting which would allow "fast-tracking" of this new bill without a 2/3 majority needed for rules suspension. The meeting is set for February 3 and the House could start debating the bill as soon as the Rules Committee takes action at the meeting. Only the traditional majority will be needed to pass the bill. Here's the announcement.

  14. Jan 31, 2009 #94 of 216

    n3ntj Hall Of Fame

    Dec 18, 2006
    After 2 years of telling EVERYONE of this switch on Feb 17th, imagine how confused some people will be if this delay happens...
  15. Jan 31, 2009 #95 of 216
    Mark Holtz

    Mark Holtz Day Sleeper

    Mar 23, 2002
    Sacramento, CA
    From New York Times:

    Digital TV Beckons, but Many Miss the Call

    Analog TV Shutoff Still Likely to Be Delayed
  16. Jan 31, 2009 #96 of 216

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

    Jul 28, 2004
    It pretty evident that this freight train legislation to delay to June 12th will be going full steam ahead next week and likely only stop once it has passed the "approval" station.

    After reading the entire thread, as well as attached articles and other sources...the impact may be alot less than the legislators think, in that many stations will switch off their analof this month as originally scheduled anyway.

    This all seems to be a solution without a problem.
  17. Jan 31, 2009 #97 of 216

    jpl Hall Of Fame

    Jul 9, 2006
    Amen! That's the reason I'm so opposed to this bill. It's window-dressing, that's all. And window-dressing that will lead to more confusion... not less. Again, Congress is just making this stuff up - they're saying that a delay will help. I don't think it will because there's been plenty of time to get ready for this. The coupons started shipping a year ago. The boxes became available shortly after that. Congress never intended for the program to cover everyone possible. If that was the case they never would have made it a first-come-first-serve set-up... it would have required means-testing, which it didn't. There's alot to criticize in the coupon program, but to believe that a four-month delay is what's needed to correct those short-comings is beyond short-sighted. It makes no sense. This is a bill designed for political cover - that's all.
  18. Jan 31, 2009 #98 of 216

    leww37334 Hall Of Fame

    Sep 19, 2005
    Here is what will happen if Congress proceeds with the delay.

    Joe says: "They told us the switch over would happen on Feb 17, it is Feb 18 and my TV still works fine so I don't have to make any changes."

    June rolls around and Joe still isn't ready.

    No man's life, liberty or property are safe while the legislature is in session.

    -- Ben Franklin
  19. Jan 31, 2009 #99 of 216

    jsk Icon

    Dec 27, 2006
    Fallston, MD
    This whole thing hasn't been communicated very well. Most of the PSA's that I have seen about the change were on digital subchannels with no mention that if you are receiving this signal, you are at least going to continue receiving it after the transition.

    Testing is going to need to be done before all of the new occupants of the frequencies will be able to roll out their new services. There should be some sort of frequency sharing during the transition where the TV stations & new occupants can work out a schedule where they are on sometimes (especially during news programs). When they are on, they should broadcast a large text message only on the analog channel about the transition every hour. People who aren't ready will get the idea that they need to change, but won't be completely isolated and the new occupants will be able to test their services to be able to launch them on time.

    However, I think all of this is too late to consider. I would imagine that even if there was any sort of deadline extension many stations would still turn off their analog signals because they probably already planned economically and logistically for the switch. I assume that it isn't as simple as flipping a switch, but they may have planned for a smaller electric bill, removing their old transmitter, ending leases for towers, making modifications to their new transmitter, and a million other things.
  20. Lord Vader

    Lord Vader Supreme Member DBSTalk Club

    Sep 20, 2004
    Galactic Empire
    From what I have read, the major difference between this bill and the last one passed by the Senate is that the word "voluntary" has been inserted here, thereby making the delay and/or switch voluntary for any and all stations involved.
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