Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Bill to delay transition to digital TV until June 12 goes from Congress to Obama, who favors it

Congress has passed a bill delaying the mandatory switch to digital television to June 12, from Feb. 17. President Obama favors the bill, which passed the House tonight 264-158. Last week, under expedited procedures requiring a two-thirds vote, the bill fell short. The Senate passed it without dissent.

"The Obama administration and many Democrats asked for the delay, saying millions of people are not ready for the switch," notes Suzanne Choney of MSNBC. "Still to be resolved is the funding needed for more coupons to help consumers offset the cost of converter boxes. That issue will likely be considered as part of the economic stimulus legislation." (Read more)

No matter when analog signals disappear, millions of rural Americans will no longer be able to watch some local television stations when all stations switch to digital-only programming. (Read more) For a market-by-market list, click here.

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