DTV transition delayed until June 12

Well, Obama had to do something eventually that I disagreed with. What will happen on June 12th? Will everyone who put off being compliant for the last five years suddenly get the equipment needed? I think not.

There will be the same reasons on June 12th for another delay…

18 months. The coupons first became available in January, 2008, and most of the manufacturers didn’t even start selling the converter boxes until 2008.

A year was enough time. I disagree with this decision to push it back to June. What’s going to happen in June when there are still people who will be left behind?

It happens with the adoption of any new technology that there will be those who do not make the change before the cutover. At some point, you have got to roll over to the new system whether the stragglers are ready or not, and I thought February was fine for that. The technology is now years old, and we should have been at the point where we were expanding upon and overtaking it, not merely trying to get it implemented.

This is unbelievably frustrating. I can’t believe I have to sit through 4 more months of endless “are you ready for the digital transition?!” commercials and ads. And it’s not going to change anything. The people who have ignored the ads and waited and still haven’t transitioned will just continue to ignore the commercials. It’s not until they turn their TV on and get nothing that they’ll take action and pick up a converter box.

Not everyone has just “out it off” though. There’s a large backlog of people who have requested vouchers but not received them due to either the slow grind of bureaucracy or else a lack of funding. Exactly how many people I don’t know: a week ago, I saw 1.2 million cited, this article says “hundreds of thousands” while this one claims three million people are on waiting lists. Still, if I split the average and just go with the 1.2 million number, that’s a lot of people who probably would be compliant if the government was able to follow through on its end.

I’m not faulting the government, mind you. Just saying that the problem isn’t entirely laziness.

There shouldn’t have been vouchers in the first place. If you want to watch television, it’s on you to go buy the requisite equipment.

No it’s also a problem of people being to cheap to spend 50$ on a converter out of their own pocket, but instead sticking their hand out and saying to the rest of us ‘Taxpayers, you have to buy this for me.’

I say leave them behind. I would have left everyone who refused to buy the box without the voucher behind, because if I had been in charge, there would never have been vouchers.

Either the government owns the airwaves and rents them out or whoever has the most powerful transmitter can stomp over anyone else.

Since the government owns the airwaves they rent them out. They will make more than enough money by increasing the bandwidth through conversion to digital than they will lose through vouchers.

For better or for worse, that’s the agreement the government struck with the people. Personally, I’d rather see the government honor the agreement than say “We couldn’t live up to our end; sucks to be you.”

As for vouchers, I think it’s great, as there are poor people, like those on fixed incomes, for whom $50 is a lot of freakin’ money to spend.

And as for pushing back the date, well, I’m not too thrilled, but since the government did supply vouchers, and since many vouchers are being held up, I guess it’s only fair to push back the date a little, until the voucher situation is fixed. But it shouldn’t be delayed any time beyond that.

People already bought the requisite equipment. The government did something that will make the equipment not work. It is thus on the government to compensate the equipment owners, for the same reason it would be on you to compensate them if you dashed around the country on February 17th snapping off their antennas.

They didn’t go out and buy people FM radios when the vast majority of stations switched to FM did they?

Things become obsolete. It’s been known for years that this change was coming, and anyone who didn’t prepare for it has only themselves to blame.

I don’t remember a time when the AM band stopped working. However, once the TV switch occurs, every non-converted TV will be a doorstop.

I can’t seem to find the date when the government took away the use of the AM band. Can you help me out with that?

I’m kind of annoyed that they are funding it at all. I guess I understand it though since the funding is coming from the revenue generated by selling the bands.

It’s not, and the revenue generated by selling the bands far exceeds the cost of the converter subsidy program.

I’m agnostic on this whole issue. Can someone tell me the substantive objection to delaying the transition? So far, the only arguments I commonly see against the delay is of the “sour grapes” variety: people should have bought the converters already, or the government shouldn’t be subsidizing them at all.

Neither one of those statements really exposes for me why June is a much worse date than February to finalize the transition.

Well, the big arguments against the delay are:

  1. Requiring the television stations to broadcast in both analog and digital for another 6 months is an economic burden to them.
  2. The longer it takes to free up the analog channels, the longer the delay in using those frequencies for other services.

I was going to write a point-by-point rebuttal, but it’s too exhausting. The government is mandating that perfectly useful equipment will no longer work. It’s not a market decision, it’s not merely opening new spectrum – the government is going into your house and busting the TV you paid for. It’s therefore on the government to fix the problem. Just because $50 isn’t a lot to you doesn’t mean it’s not a lot to many, many people – and given that cable ans sat subscribers don’t need the box, the people who need the box are exactly those to whom $50 may be a lot of dosh.


Because the transition is getting INCREDIBLY ANNOYING. I’ve had to attend four or five training sessions on the thing as a librarian - do you know how many reference questions I’ve fielded on it? NONE, except for “how do I get to that website for the vouchers?” which I didn’t need the training for. Anybody with half a brain has gotten the message, people without half a brain are not going to get it.

Unfortunately, since they started a program they didn’t have the money to finish, now they essentially have no choice but to extend the time. Still, if I have to sit through another Big Switch seminar I’ll chew my leg off to escape.

? That seems like a contradiction. The funding isn’t coming from the sale of the bands but the sale of the bands exceeds the cost of the subsidies? Umm what?