The New York Times reports today that the incoming Obama administration wants to delay the conversion from analog TV to digital TV.
Back in 2005, Congress OK’d the switch to happen on Feb. 17 of this year. But technological problems and inadequate funding have nearly derailed the effort.
No one knows how long the delay might last, but some in Congress oppose the idea, citing that more changes will over-complicate the transition.
Even so, TV networks are behind the proposal, because they could lose viewers if TV goes dark. Here’s a snippet of the Times article by Brian Stelter:
The nation’s broadcasters may not complete their long-awaited switch to all-digital TV next month, after all.
A TV set equipped with a digital converter box, left, displays a superior image to that of an analog TV. The government has run out of money for discount coupons to buy the $50 converters.
On Thursday President-elect Barack Obama’s transition team urged Congress to extend the Feb. 17 cutoff date for analog broadcasting, injecting new uncertainty into a switch that has confused customers and cost the government more than $1.3 billion in subsidies.
Several television networks and high-ranking Democrats supported Mr. Obama’s proposal, although it remains unclear whether a change will be made.
Ending analog signals will affect millions of television viewers who own old televisions. Those sets will not be able to receive over-the-air television signals once the mandated upgrade to digital transmission takes place, unless their owners buy converter boxes, which the government is subsidizing.
In the most significant sign to date of concern about the impending transition, John D. Podesta, the chairman of the Obama transition team, said the Congressional financing to support the change was “woefully inadequate.”