President Obama signed legislation making a four-month delay for the digital TV transition official. That gives customers until June 12 to get new converter boxes or sign up with digital service providers, and also allows broadcasters more time to make the switch. Apparently, however, as many as 500 of those broadcasters don't desire to wait. That's how many TV stations have asked the Federal Communications Commission to allow them to turn off analog and go all-digital on the original transition date, Feb. 17.
Does that mean the delay was unnecessary? President Obama and legislators spent much time and effort working on the delay to protect consumers who would be affected by an earlier transition, but if the FCC allows that many broadcasters to turn off analog all at once, the delay seems pointless.
It is not clear that IPTV providers and other telco TV providers have much to gain from the delay, except that it gives some consumers more time to decide if they want to sign up for new service. Still, cable TV and satellite carriers also will be competing for that contingent of Last-Minute Lucies.
- InformationWeek has this story
The House of Representatives approved the DTV delay last week
President Obama called for a DTV transition delay early last month