Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Senate wants to delay analog TV end until June

The Senate voted on Monday to delay next month’s transition to digital television until June 12 because some viewers would not be ready for the switch.

The voice vote followed a call by President Obama’s administration to postpone the Feb. 17 date for major TV stations to stop sending traditional analog signals. Similar legislation awaits action in the House today.

Democratic Senator John D. Rockefeller IV, of West Virginia who leads the commerce committee, said last week that he had reached agreement with Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas, the top Republican on the panel, on the legislation. Some Republicans had opposed a delay, saying it would cause confusion by changing a long-planned date.

A federal program to subsidize digital equipment that some viewers will need has fallen short of money, and last week the government reported a waiting list of 1.4 million households.

More than 6.5 million homes are not able to receive digital TV programming, the Nielsen Company said last week. The figure is a decrease from last month, when Nielsen said almost 8 million could not receive it. (info from The New York Times)

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