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The W - Movies & TV - D-TV Transition hits snag
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CajunMan
Boudin blanc
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Since: 2.1.02
From: Give me a Title shot!

Since last post: 1099 days
Last activity: 236 days
#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.70
Well the transition from analog to digital is almost a month away and there is a major snag. It seems as the government is out of coupons and now you have to be put on a waiting list or buy without the coupon. I had a feeling they would botch this up. Even Obama wants to deley the transition. Thoughts? My solution just invest in cable.
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Mr. Boffo
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Since: 24.3.02
From: Oshkosh, WI

Since last post: 451 days
Last activity: 412 days
#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.24
If people could afford cable, they wouldn't need money to buy converter boxes. And if everyone could afford buying a converter box at full price, they wouldn't need the coupons.

I mean, like most government things, the system was all screwed up. You could get two coupons that were good for 60 days. When the coupons were first available, they hadn't yet decided which models were eligible, or which stores were going to take them, or anything like that. And why a 60 day expiration date? If you wanted them to expire in March '09, that's one thing. 60 days makes no sense. So I think I saw something that said 50% of all coupons never got used.

I don't know what the solution is. On the one hand I don't have cable (I could afford it, but choose not to), but I'm all ready. I have one TV with a converter box, and then I have a HDTV tuner in my computer. So I'd like to see it happen, because I'm hoping that since stations will no longer have to provide both a digital and analog signal, they'll be able to provide more power to the digital. Maybe I'd be able to get the MyNetwork and CW stations that are currently too weak. And the transition had already been delayed several times before this. A part of me wants it to get over with, already.

Only annoying thing is one of my stations is switching their digital frequency to their old analog frequency, and the frequency in question is in the VHF range. I use indoor antennas where the VHF antenna is done via rabbit ears. On the very low VHF stations, you need an increasingly large distance between the two ends to get the station in.
http://www.kyes.com/antenna/rabbitear.html

I feel bad for anyone who tried to get the coupons and couldn't. They say local tv is a safety issue because they issue weather alerts and such. I don't know
Downtown Bookie
Morcilla








Since: 7.4.02
From: The Inner City, Now Living In The Country

Since last post: 134 days
Last activity: 28 days
#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.26
From the Associated Press (google.com):
    Originally posted by Joelle Tessler and Ryan Nakashima
    Bucking the Obama administration, House Republicans on Wednesday defeated a bill to postpone the upcoming transition from analog to digital television broadcasting to June 12 leaving an estimated 6.5 million U.S. households unprepared for the currently scheduled Feb. 17 switchover.

    But the battle over a delay may not be over, with some predicting the House will take up the measure again next week.

    Wednesday's 258-168 House vote failed to clear the two-thirds threshold needed for passage in a victory for GOP members, who warn that postponing the transition by four months would confuse consumers.

    House Republicans say a delay also would burden wireless companies and public safety agencies waiting for the spectrum that will be freed up by the switch, and create added costs for television stations that would have to continue broadcasting both analog and digital signals for four more months.

    The defeat is a setback for President Barack Obama and Democrats on Capitol Hill, who maintain that the Bush administration bungled efforts to ensure that all consumers particularly poor, rural and low-income Americans will be ready for next month's analog shut-off. The Obama administration had no immediate comment on the House vote.

    Despite Wednesday's setback, House Democrats are not out of options.

    Gene Kimmelman, vice president for federal policy at the Consumers Union, which has been lobbying for a delay, said he hopes the House will bring the bill up again for a regular floor vote, which would only require majority support to pass. Wednesday's vote took place under a special procedure that required two-thirds support for passage.

    Wednesday's House vote came two days after the Senate unanimously passed the bill, sponsored by Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John D. Rockefeller, D-W.Va.

    The Nielsen Co. estimates more than 6.5 million U.S. households that rely on analog television sets to pick up over-the-air broadcast signals still are not prepared for the planned transition.

    Speaking on the House floor late Tuesday, Joe Barton of Texas, the top Republican on the House Commerce Committee, insisted a postponement is not necessary.

    "We could do nothing worse than to delay this transition date," Barton said in a statement Wednesday. "The bill is a solution looking for a problem that exists mostly in the mind of the Obama administration."

    The Obama administration called for the transition date to be postponed after the Commerce Department early this month hit a $1.34 billion funding limit for coupons to subsidize digital TV converter boxes for consumers. The coupon program allows consumers to request up to two $40 vouchers per household to help pay for the boxes, which translate digital signals back into analog ones for older TVs. The boxes generally cost between $40 and $80 each and can be purchased without a coupon.

    Barton, for one, is pushing legislation to fix the coupon program without delaying next month's transition.

    Yet Rockefeller said a delay is the only way to ensure that millions of Americans don't see their television screens go dark next month.

    "The outgoing Bush administration grossly mismanaged the digital television transition and consumers are confused, households are not prepared, and the coupon program for converter boxes is broken," Rockefeller said in a statement after the House vote.

Gee, who would've predicted that the first showdown between the new administration and the minority party would be over television? It looks as if the majority leadership in the House erred by trying to pass the bill under special procedure (which required the two-thirds approval of the membership) instead of going to a regular floor vote, which requires just a simple majority for passage. I hasten to add that it was an understandable misjudgment by the Democrats, as who could've predicted that the House Republicans would put up a fight on this issue, especially after the Republican Senators had joined the Dems in passing the measure unanimously? Just my opinion, of course, but it appears that the House Republicans have chosen a strange issue with which to pick a fight with the new President.



http://www.americasupportsyou.mil


"Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help." - Isaiah 58:7 (New Living Translation)
Mr. Boffo
Scrapple








Since: 24.3.02
From: Oshkosh, WI

Since last post: 451 days
Last activity: 412 days
#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.24
    Originally posted by Downtown Bookie
    Gee, who would've predicted that the first showdown between the new administration and the minority party would be over television? It looks as if the majority leadership in the House erred by trying to pass the bill under special procedure (which required the two-thirds approval of the membership) instead of going to a regular floor vote, which requires just a simple majority for passage. I hasten to add that it was an understandable misjudgment by the Democrats, as who could've predicted that the House Republicans would put up a fight on this issue, especially after the Republican Senators had joined the Dems in passing the measure unanimously? Just my opinion, of course, but it appears that the House Republicans have chosen a strange issue with which to pick a fight with the new President.



My understanding that the special procedure was to pass the bill so that it would immediately travel to the president for approval. Otherwise, the House version has some changes that would require the two versions to be reconciled before passing to the president. I've heard the Senate is going to avoid that reconciliation process by immediately approving the House version, but we'll see. That won't happen until next week because the house is in recess until then.

It's also interesting to note that the House version, at least, (not sure about the Senate version) says that any station that wants to can still turn off their analog broadcast on February 17th. This really eliminates the argument (that some were making) that a delay would be costly to individual stations. If that is the case, they are free to switch as originally planned.
odessasteps
Scrapple








Since: 2.1.02
From: MD, USA

Since last post: 127 days
Last activity: 94 days
#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.34

They ran a commercial for the transition during LOST tonight, which made me snicker.



Mark Coale
Odessa Steps Magazine
The Affirmation, Baby Blog
Alessandro
Lap cheong








Since: 2.1.02
From: Worcester MA

Since last post: 83 days
Last activity: 5 days
#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.56
Has anyone else tried requesting these coupons? I visited the site (dtv2009.gov), entered my information, but then when I hit "Submit" it just sent me back to the same page; no "Thank You" message or any other kind of confirmation which would suggest that the transaction went through successfully.

So now I'm left wondering whether I made it onto the waiting list or not (not that I desperately need a converter box, since I do have cable) ...





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The Thrill
Banger








Since: 16.4.02
From: Green Bay, WI

Since last post: 189 days
Last activity: 35 days
#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.25
Godspeed, men of the 2nd Bn, 127th Infantry, 32d "Red Arrow" Brigade, Wisconsin Army National Guard! Victory in Iraq!

Even if this passes (which makes us TV stations look like schmucks for pounding the Feb. 17th date into all y'all's heads for months now), expect a LOT of stations to take advantage of that loophole where we can make the switch anyway on that day if we want to.

The reason? Power bills. It's costing stations a TON of money right now (money most of us simply don't have) to power both the old analog and newer digital over-the-air transmitters. Most stations don't have it in their budget to keep those old analog transmitters powered up after Feb. 17th.

So...away they'll go, even if Capitol Hill might like 'em to stay powered up longer.

So be ready, folks.










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Mr. Boffo
Scrapple








Since: 24.3.02
From: Oshkosh, WI

Since last post: 451 days
Last activity: 412 days
#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.24
Alright, the House passed the bill, all it has to do is go to the president to sign, and it'll be law.
The FCC has released their rules for stations switching early. Like anything the government does nowadays, it's written in legalese, so let's try to simplify.

* Stations that want to turn off analog on February 17th will need to inform the FCC of that fact by February 9th. If too many stations in a single market try to go off, the FCC may deny their ability to do so based on what they believe is "in the public's interest". They may then ask the stations to prove that turning off early is in the public's interest. "Such additional information can include significant economic, technical, contractual and other business reasons that support termination on February
17."
* Those stations that are approved will still have to run the equivalent of 30 days worth of notices. That is, stations normally would run 4 notices per day for the last 30 days before turning off. If they start doing this 8 days before turning off, they have to do 15 notices per day, with at least 3 notices in primetime every day.
* In addition to that, stations that have the technical capability are going to have to run a crawl on their analog channel notifying watchers that they are turning off. From February 10th to February 14th, the crawl must be aired for the first 5 minutes of every hour. For the final two days, the crawl must be for the first 10 minutes of every hour. If stations don't have the technical capability to run a crawl, they will have to inform the viewer in some other way for the same amount of time.
* Even if a station turns off their analog service, if they are scheduled to move to a different digital frequency, they can't do that until June 12.
* If a station doesn't turn off on February 17th, the FCC expects it stay on through June 12. If they seek an early turnoff before that date, they'll have to jump through all the normal hoops that the FCC has setup.

SUMMARY OF A SUMMARY:
In other words, if you want to know if any of your analog channels are turning off on February 17th, wait until February 10th and flip through all of them right at the top of the hour. Any that are switching will have a crawl notifying you.

Now a lot of the major stations have agreed to stay on through the June 12th date, including:
All Owned-and-Operated ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, and Telemundo stations.
A list of O&O stations for the big 4 is available here.
Most Gannett and Hearst-Argyle stations are likewise staying on through June 12.
A list of Gannett stations is available here, and a list of Hearst-Argyle stations is available here.

(edited by Mr. Boffo on 5.2.09 1841)
odessasteps
Scrapple








Since: 2.1.02
From: MD, USA

Since last post: 127 days
Last activity: 94 days
#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.34

There was an article in the WAPO today saying it would cost stations between $20,000-$30,000 a month just in electric bills to keep running their analog feeds.





Mark Coale
Odessa Steps Magazine
The Affirmation, Baby Blog
PeterStork
Sujuk








Since: 25.1.02
From: Chicagoland with Hoosiers, or "The Region"

Since last post: 41 days
Last activity: 3 days
#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.71
It would be a real shame if some of these stations had analog transmitter problems for, like, four months.



exit 670 dot com | digital route 66
Zeruel
Thirty Millionth Hit
Moderator








Since: 2.1.02
From: The Silver Spring in the Land of Mary.

Since last post: 2 hours
Last activity: 2 hours
#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.05
    Originally posted by odessasteps

    There was an article in the WAPO today saying it would cost stations between $20,000-$30,000 a month just in electric bills to keep running their analog feeds.




Plus PG county (a MD county in the DC suburbs for those not in the know) needs the bandwidth released because it is using the frequency/channels they need so all their emergency services to talk to each other. They can't wait another 4 months...peoples' lives depend on it. I expect most if not all of the DC stations to switch at the old date.



-- 2006 Time magazine Person of the Year --

"I remember meeting a mother of a child who was abducted by the North Koreans right here in the Oval Office."
George W. Bush - June 26, 2008, during a Rose Garden news briefing.
Lise
Mrs. Guru








Since: 11.12.01

Since last post: 419 days
Last activity: 41 days
#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.64
I know that one of our local news channels (the one I watch at lunch) has had a crawl at the bottom of the screen saying that they will be ceasing their analog broadcast on the 17th.

Mr. Boffo
Scrapple








Since: 24.3.02
From: Oshkosh, WI

Since last post: 451 days
Last activity: 412 days
#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.24
    Originally posted by Zeruel
      Originally posted by odessasteps

      There was an article in the WAPO today saying it would cost stations between $20,000-$30,000 a month just in electric bills to keep running their analog feeds.




    Plus PG county (a MD county in the DC suburbs for those not in the know) needs the bandwidth released because it is using the frequency/channels they need so all their emergency services to talk to each other. They can't wait another 4 months...peoples' lives depend on it. I expect most if not all of the DC stations to switch at the old date.


The bandwidth in question is in the spectrum that formerly belonged to channels 52-83. And in fact the public safety services seem to be on channels 70-83. 52-69 is the 700 MHz band that was auctioned to wireless providers. So only 70-83 need to come available for public safety. And in fact there don't appear to be any stations brodcasting in that range in the DC area, according to antennaweb.org. I don't think they'll be able to use that as an excuse for switching early.
Zeruel
Thirty Millionth Hit
Moderator








Since: 2.1.02
From: The Silver Spring in the Land of Mary.

Since last post: 2 hours
Last activity: 2 hours
#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.05
    Originally posted by Mr. Boffo


    The bandwidth in question is in the spectrum that formerly belonged to channels 52-83. And in fact the public safety services seem to be on channels 70-83. 52-69 is the 700 MHz band that was auctioned to wireless providers. So only 70-83 need to come available for public safety. And in fact there don't appear to be any stations brodcasting in that range in the DC area, according to antennaweb.org. I don't think they'll be able to use that as an excuse for switching early.


Apparently if ch 62 in nearby Frederick shuts down on time, everything will be cool. Otherwise, not so much.

http://www.wusa9.com/rss/local_article.aspx?storyid=80951

This blurb is about 9 days old and was written when the delay got held up.


    LANHAM, Md. (WUSA) -- At the radio shop for Prince George's County they are worried the vote by the House of Representatives not to delay the upcoming transition from analog to digital television may not be long-lived. So why are people who have worked three years to design a new state of the art radio system for police and firefighters concerned about politics? And why are Prince George's County political leaders, who were supporters of candidate Barack Obama, lobbying against one of the initial proposals of his new adminstration.

    The answer lies in the county's almost 40-year-old public safety radio system. It has left Prince George's as the only jurisdiction in the immediate Washington area without interoperability. The word came to the forefront after the attacks of September 11 and refers to the ability of first responders to communicate across jurisdictional lines.

    Spending almost $80-million, Prince George's County is working on the final stages of the new radio system that would, among other things, solve the interoperability problem. But that system shares some of the same radio spectrum that is currently being used by analog TV transmissions. Prince George's County can't turn its system on until the DTV conversion happens.

    A delay of even a few weeks could stall the county's radio system for a year. That's because fine tuning and testing of the radios has to be done when leaves are on the trees. The leaves actually can reduce how far the radio waves travel. The work, scheduled to begin in April, would have to be moved to Spring, 2010.

    One help, if the issue is revisited by lawmakers, could be if Channel 62 in Frederick, Maryland shuts down its analog transmissions earlier than any extended deadline. Public Safety Communications Deputy Director Wayne McBride says they are communicating with Maryland Public Television to see if that is a possibility.




-- 2006 Time magazine Person of the Year --

"I remember meeting a mother of a child who was abducted by the North Koreans right here in the Oval Office."
George W. Bush - June 26, 2008, during a Rose Garden news briefing.
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