Sign up for email updates

National Debt

Digital TV Conversion Delay an Expensive Mistake

  • January 26, 2009


    The House has defeated legislation delaying the digital conversion switch 258-168.

    Almost five years after Congress mandated the switch, there really is no acceptable reason for people to have not prepared themselves for this well publicized change, and we applaud members of the House for their rare common sense votes.

    The House has backtracked and delayed the transition of digital TV, with the majority party again eschewing personal responsibility for hand-holding of the unprepared.

    The U.S. Senate has passed legislation delaying the transition from analog to digital television broadcasts on February 17 of this year in order to accommodate households that have not made the necessary arrangements to receive the new broadcasts.

    Asides from the costs associated with delaying the transition until this summer such as leases on signal transmitters, the bandwidth the switch was to provide will not be available to the users that were expecting to be able to access it, mostly emergency services.

    It has been estimated, for example, that PBS, the Public Broadcasting System, will face an added cost of $22 million to extend analog transmission until the new switch date this summer.  This is on top of all the advertisements and notices of the impending switch that will all need to be re-created to match the new deadline, which is an unfair burden to heap upon broadcasters only weeks before the original deadline.

    Even with a new deadline, there will still be masses of people who are unprepared despite years to prepare; is it fair or realistic to continue to push back the deadline until those who refuse to make the effort finally cave in?

    This measure has yet to pass the House, but being a Democrat-backed initiative, is almost certain to pass and reach the president’s desk.

    CapitolWatch encourages personal responsibility of our readers and members; contact your officials in Washington and demand they display the same.

Related CW Articles

See all related stories »