Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

US House Kills Proposed Delay For Digital TV Transition

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the very-little-soup-for-you dept.

Television 664

An anonymous reader writes "The Digital TV transition delay bill has failed to pass the United States House of Representatives. By a vote 258 to 168 in favor of changing the date, the bill has failed as two-thirds of the votes are required for it to pass. The delay bill was once perceived as inevitable, [but the House] has now apparently made February 17th the date of transition once again. Now the question remains, will they attempt to pass it again by the deadline?"

cancel ×

664 comments

Who cares? (3, Interesting)

javelinco (652113) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643229)

What's the big deal, anyway? I'm wondering if I just don't understand something about how this is going down.

Re:Who cares? (3, Insightful)

kcbanner (929309) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643309)

Yea, I don't understand why they are opposing this. Is it because people won't be able to afford the converter boxes for their old TVs?

Alot of technology-illiterate (or people who don't really care) might not know this is going down, but it has been a long time coming and people have had quite a while to get their stuff in order.

Enlighten us.

Re:Who cares? (2, Interesting)

Moryath (553296) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643571)

I got fucked by this crappy legislation.

Put in for our household's DTV converter box coupons... someone stole them in the mail. Called up to ask where they were, was told "by the terms of the law, we aren't allowed to issue a replacement if yours are never delivered to you."

Yeah, I can probably "afford" the converter box. Still pisses me off to have that happen and the gov't say "too fucking bad" about it.

Re:Who cares? (1)

kcbanner (929309) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643653)

So someone was desperate enough to steal your DTV coupons...do they even let you use multiple coupons on one purchase?

Re:Who cares? (5, Interesting)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643311)

Senate wants to allow procrastinators to procrastinate even longer, House doesn't.

Re:Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26643365)

Well, the deal is that as soon as the transition is complete the companies who bought up the spectrum can begin working on rolling out whatever services they are going to offer. Unfortunately these services are probably going to cost a lot while offering very little, so perhaps you are correct in believing it is not a big deal.

Re:Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26643371)

Well, the financial crisis is remarkably complex. Amazingly so. They clearly don't know how to fix it, they have some ideas but nobody really knows. I think they want to do something and this is a low hanging fruit. You pump a trillion dollars in to the economy and nobody knows when new jobs will show up, you delay this TV switch and the public experiences something that potentially affects that 4-6 hours they waste at home every night.

Just keep one channel broadcasting for awhile. (4, Insightful)

A Commentor (459578) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643745)

Why not just keep one of the channels in all the major markets broadcasting a continually loop telling people what they need to do if they want to watch TV... after a few months turn that off too.

This transition has been communicated to everyone for a long time. Delaying it will just add to the confusion.

Anonymous reader? (1)

stinerman (812158) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643231)

I sure hope he's Wesley Roberts otherwise that's a pretty obvious copy-and-paste from the article.

Re:Anonymous reader? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26643363)

I sure hope he's Wesley Roberts otherwise that's a pretty obvious copy-and-paste from the article.

I sure hope he's Wesley Crusher, which means Cpt. Picard used a borg time distortion field to travel back in time for the purpose of ridding himself of Boy Genius.

As we all know,

"The first duty of every Starfleet officer is to the truth, whether it's scientific truth or historical truth or personal truth! It is the guiding principle on which Starfleet is based!"

So, I guess you can't fault the AC too much for his dedication for repeating the textual truth from the article. He still, however, does not deserve to wear that uniform!

Re:Anonymous reader? (1)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643633)

I sure hope he's Wesley Wyndam-Pryce, which means Angel used a demonic incantation to travel across dimensions for the purpose of kicking ass.

As we all know,

"If there's no great glorious end to all this, if ... nothing we do matters ... then all that matters is what we do. 'Cause that's all there is. What we do. Now. Today."

So, I guess you can't fault the AC too much for his dedication for repeating the textual truth from the article. He still, however, should have tapped that cutie Fred when he had the chance.

Good thing (4, Funny)

Cornwallis (1188489) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643243)

the idiots have solved all the real problems so they can waste time with this!

Re:Good thing (1)

eclectro (227083) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643851)

It's a problem if thousands of your constituents wake up and find that their TV doesn't work. Which case, you as a public representative has really screwed up. Besides them letting the economy grind to halt, you don't have TV, in the middle of winter to boot. Maybe because I don't have a coupon yet or maybe because I only switch it on once a week. Either case there are some who are gonna get caught by surprise. Dealing with this in the summer months seems much more logical to me.

Re:Good thing (0, Troll)

thrillseeker (518224) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643881)

well, they do ahve that problem of trying to figure out how to get away with stealing a(nother) trillion dollars from the taxpayers ... for the children will be the eventual justification, of course

I hope not (1)

DavidHumus (725117) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643245)

The digital signal I get is a little flaky but they are supposed to boost the signal after the switch.

Re:I hope not (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26643547)

Most stations aren't. The only ones who are, generally, are those moving from UHF to VHF and that's because they need to to keep their coverage contour.

good god (4, Insightful)

cavtroop (859432) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643247)

...just do the cutover, get it over with. Sure, a short term pain, but I'm sick of hearing about it.

Really. Just do it already.

End it already! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26643249)

If someone was in a hole deep enough to miss the endless coupon touts and ceaseless scrolls indicating the transition, is a few extra months going to get to them?

A simple answer (2, Insightful)

ameyer17 (935373) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643255)

will they attempt to pass it again by the deadline?

Probably.
Will it pass?
Probably not, unless they cram it in a popular bill.

Re:A simple answer (5, Interesting)

Rinisari (521266) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643473)

One Subject at a Time Act [downsizedc.org] by Downsize DC would prevent that!

Call your Congresspeople and tell them to support it!

Re:A simple answer (5, Funny)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643509)

I say pass a bil that requires ALL analog transmitters to stay online for 1 month.

Broadcasting a red screen with "If you did not expect this, YOU ARE STUPID!" on it in flashing black letters.

Most cool Japanese products never get here because they are convinced we are really dumb and could not understand them. And honestly I'm starting to understand why they feel that way.

Three Shells. (2, Funny)

camperdave (969942) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643631)

Most cool Japanese products never get here because they are convinced we are really dumb and could not understand them.

True, but at the same time I fail to see the need for anything more than a "flush" button on my toilet. (Although, now that I think about it, an air freshener button might be a good idea.)

Re:A simple answer (5, Funny)

tonsofpcs (687961) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643649)

I'd support this except for a few key issues (you clearly haven't thought this out):
1) Reds in NTSC are either illegal (out of gamut) or very close to black (bad for black and white sets)
2) solid color borders and constant flashing cause bandwidth issues to crop up, making the content illegible
3) Part of the issue with delaying the shut-off is that MANY full-power TV transmitters are on their last legs and new parts are unavailable.
4) You don't need the "If you did not expect this, " part.
5) You are stupid.

The amount of money.... (4, Insightful)

Ron_Fitzgerald (1101005) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643263)

being wasted over this is insane in my opinion.

The television is an entertainment device, nothing more. We have so much more to worry about in this country other than if someone will continue view ads on the tv when we move on from an archaic system.

Do I have this wrong? Is there something else about television that I am forgetting?

Re:The amount of money.... (2, Informative)

bilbravo (763359) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643349)

Local news? National news? These are available in other places, but anyone watching network television over the airwaves is likely not going to have access to those other means (internet, for example).

Re:The amount of money.... (2)

DrLang21 (900992) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643421)

What about a newspaper? Are we assuming they are illiterate as well? There's always the radio. They still broadcast news on that believe it or not.

Re:The amount of money.... (1)

bilbravo (763359) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643691)

I believe it. The OP suggested that he may be forgetting things on TV that are worthwhile, just in a snarky way. I provided an example.

I don't understand how what I said would imply these peole are illiterate or that I believe they are illiterate. It just means I think people may use the TV for more than reality television and police dramas.

Additionally, not everyone has the home paper delivered and I know several elderly (and not so elderly) people who rely on television for news because they do not receive the paper. That does not mean they cannot read, however.

Re:The amount of money.... (1)

DrLang21 (900992) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643849)

My comment was mostly in reference to your statement of

but anyone watching network television over the airwaves is likely not going to have access to those other means

Arguing a lack of access to other news outlets is ridiculous. You can get an AM/FM radio for cheaper than you can buy a converter box with a coupon, and the local library usually carries newspapers.

Re:The amount of money.... (1)

bilbravo (763359) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643931)

So you're saying free news sources are good right? So am I! Good grief, I'm simply stating that there is a good reason to have a TV tuner... to watch the news. Perhaps not everyone can get to a local library everyday to read the paper. That leaves radio and TV for the most part. So why does your statement of "radio is cheaper" better or more acceptable or relevant than my statement that "TV has news as well"? You're arguing about something that needn't be argued about.

Yes, radio has news. Libraries have newspapers. But is it not also true to say that there is news available on the TV over the airwaves? And that's what the OP was "asking" about... TV and it's uses.

If you ask me both you and I put too much effort into this trollish post at the top of this thread :-)

Re:The amount of money.... (2, Informative)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643919)

Are we assuming they are illiterate as well?

Considering the way lazy teachers use a diagnosis of dyslexia as an excuse for not doing their job and teaching all their students to read, they may well be. (Yes, I do know that there really is such a thing as dyslexia -- I have a friend who's severely dyslexic [He still reads more books every year than most people because he doesn't let it stop him.] -- but most children who are diagnosed with it can and do learn if they ever encounter a teacher who's willing to put in the effort, or a program to teach children how to read. [readingtlc.com] ) A century ago, the idea that anybody could reach sixth grade without being literate would have been considered absurd; today, it's a given.

Local news? National news? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26643441)

He was asking for an example of television that wasn't entertainment.

Re:The amount of money.... (1)

yoghurt (2090) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643451)

As if network television even has news.

And there are plenty of news sources that are not the interweb:
- your friends and cow-orkers
- radio
- newspaper

If they haven't gotten the news about the digital TV transition, how important can the news possibly be to these people? Turning off the signal is the only way to get them to notice. And if they still don't notice after that, why would they care? It's not like they are trying to watch TV.

Re:The amount of money.... (1)

bilbravo (763359) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643643)

Network television has news, and I watch my local news most days.

And the OP was asking if there was anything on TV that was important, and that could be... I provided an answer. I didn't say there weren't alternatives, but to simply suggest everything on TV is not worthwhile is silly.

Also, friends and co-workers aren't a good source of news... remember the "telephone" game from elementary school? :-D

Re:The amount of money.... (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643739)

Also, friends and co-workers aren't a good source of news... remember the "telephone" game from elementary school? :-D

I do. Its currently played out TV and Internet news...

Something like the Barack administration's lawyers filing a motion agreeing with the Bush administration that a particular case be paused while an extremely relevant appeal in another court is still taking place gets relayed on Fox news and Slashdot as "OMG Pres. Barack Obama personally agrees with Bush administration warrantless wiretapping and says so in court!"

These days you can't trust *any* news source for decent reliable coverage. The networks, the internet, they all SUCK.

Hell as a Canadian, I just read the freaking proposed federal budget myself to get a decent picture of what it actually said, because of all the bullshit and rhetoric spewing from the talking heads (both politicians and so-called journalists...)

Re:The amount of money.... (1)

mr100percent (57156) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643361)

Agreed. More money has been spent by the government advertising this than on all adult education programs in America

Re:The amount of money.... (4, Insightful)

FatAlb3rt (533682) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643387)

There is a significant part of the population that uses analog TV as their primary point of communication to the outside world. Think emergency scenarios like tornado warnings, 911-type events, and the Cardinals having a shot to win the SuperBowl.

Not that I agree with the delay - just saying TV isn't just entertainment.

Re:The amount of money.... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26643391)

Do I have this wrong? Is there something else about television that I am forgetting?

While I fully agree that a whole lot of time and money is being wasted in debating whether this transition gets delayed (again), yes, I do think you are missing something critical here.

Let me ask you something about the oft-overused 9/11. Did you (or anyone else) watch TV that day? Was it purely for entertainment? I realize you probably got some of your news from the web, too, but to dismiss television as a highly-effective and widely-available information medium shows an incredibly narrow-sighted view on your part.

Re:The amount of money.... (4, Insightful)

athakur999 (44340) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643433)

TV is the primary source of news for a large amount of people. It's probably the only source of local news that is completely free aside from having to pay for the electrity to power the TV.

TV news is also invaluable if you live some place with frequent storms (e.g. anywhere in tornado alley). The local news often has more up to date and relevant information than the web. Radio is a fallback but the old saying "a picture is worth a thousand words" definitely applies to weather maps.

Re:The amount of money.... (3, Interesting)

Jon_S (15368) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643581)

"TV is the primary source of news for a large amount of people."

That's sad. I'm a news junky, and I would never think of getting my news from the TV. They don't really have news there. Just infotainment and sensationalism. Seriously. Have you ever looked?

Maybe PBS, but that's about it.

If people are relying on TV for news, it might be good to make them read the newspaper if they haven't gotten a digital tuner yet.

I don't have cable, but I doubt it's much better there based on what I've seen while staying in hotels. But in any event, we aren't talking about people who have cable since the DTV switch over doesn't apply to them.

Re:The amount of money.... (1)

Ozric (30691) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643857)

This is my post the last time.. ..

Does anyone think they are worried about the poor unready masses? ... REALLY?

This is about viewership, ratings, and losses in advertising dollars. This will cause a flux in the base audience size and rates will have to drop
due to that reduction.

Now somewhere a deal has been struck.. ..

If you think that this has to do with anything more you are living in a dream world.

Just follow the money.

Re:The amount of money.... (1)

internerdj (1319281) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643439)

A shocking number of people (especially among the demographic that will be most affected by the transition) get their information from the archaic information delivery device. Most people in other income/age brackets have shifted those boxes into entirely entertainment devices.

Re:The amount of money.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26643833)

Really? Hispanics aged 18 to 34 get their information from the archaic information delivery device?

(sorry, latest Nielsen numbers came in this morning, old people are the most prepared)

News, safety alerts, ... (1)

zooblethorpe (686757) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643483)

The television is an entertainment device, nothing more... Is there something else about television that I am forgetting?

The news seems to me more about being informed than being entertained (though admittedly that might depend on the network). Plus, there's the whole emergency network broadcast stuff, like, by the way, there's a big-ass hurricane coming on Saturday and y'all better get your fannies off to higher ground, pronto, or, we've spotted a tornado touching down five miles west of town, and it's moving east -- take shelter in your basements. You know, getting the word out about big important stuff where plain old email don't cut the mustard.

Cheers,

Re:The amount of money.... (1)

Golias (176380) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643521)

Right.

Also, can somebody please tell me why the government owes anybody a free converter box? If such a thing is too great of an expense for you, maybe you should turn off the TV and take a second job or something.

Re:The amount of money.... (1, Insightful)

Imagix (695350) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643609)

Because the government is requiring the broadcasters to stop using analog? This isn't voluntary on the part of the broadcasters. Because if it was, theoretically some would continue to broadcast in analog to service those users remaining, which would leave a choice for people. The government is requiring a path that has no choice.

Re:The amount of money.... (1)

Golias (176380) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643681)

Hey, if you want to talk about eliminating the FCC and simply auctioning off all available bandwidth as if it was real estate, I'm totally on board.

But as long as we're going to use a heavy-handed bureaucracy to manipulate the market "for the public good", having to buy new equipment to keep up with their decisions once every 50 years or so seems far less burdensome than certain other federal departments I can think of.

Re:The amount of money.... (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643715)

Watch the new signal or not at all. That's the choice.

Re:The amount of money.... (1)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643583)

Spectrum. It's a valuable public resource. NTSC is pretty wasteful.

-Peter

Re:The amount of money.... (1)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643605)

being wasted over this is insane in my opinion.

The television is an entertainment device, nothing more. We have so much more to worry about in this country other than if someone will continue view ads on the tv when we move on from an archaic system.

Do I have this wrong? Is there something else about television that I am forgetting?

Television is rapidly replacing radio as a standard, baseline means of keeping up-to-date with what's going on in the world.

Local news, national news, political coverage, important informational announcements, emergency information...

Yes, you can get all that on a radio. Or the Internet. Or a news paper. But that doesn't mean that all television is useless fluff. And there are a lot of people these days who don't own radios, don't have bandwidth, and down get newspapers. Like it or not, television is nearly omnipresent.

I do agree that an awful lot of time, effort, and money is being wasted on this transition. Just flip the switch already! Cut it all over to digital and call it done. Yes, people will lose their signal... But it isn't like an extra week or two, or even a month or two, is going to make much of a difference. At some point we're just going to have to bite the bullet and make the switch. There will be fallout. It really doesn't matter how long we wait, there will be some portion of the populace that is not ready.

Re:The amount of money.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26643717)

Do I have this wrong? Is there something else about television that I am forgetting?

Umm, Baywatch?

Re:The amount of money.... (4, Insightful)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643807)

If you take away the people's circuses, they may actual do something...like sit around, take a look at the world, and decide some kind of action needs to be taken.

Did we not learn anything by watching Rome?

Re:The amount of money.... (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643889)

> Do I have this wrong? Is there something else about television that I am forgetting?

"Disaster" warnings.

Some information is very time sensitive and only of interest to those in your own community.

This sort of stuff is the only stuff I watch live anymore.

And how long ... (1)

m0s3m8n (1335861) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643267)

And how long have we know this was coming? The only argument I can agree with is that by moving the date we will not have people trying to climb on their roofs in the Winter. Steep pitch + snow/ice = bad things.

Re:And how long ... (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643339)

Just wondering, since the frequencies are still UHF/VHF - why would people be messing with their antennas?

Re:And how long ... (1)

Golias (176380) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643461)

Not everybody owns dedicated UHF roof antennas.

Those VHF/UHF hybrid ones are good enough (in most places) to tune in the analog signals, while many people (including me) find that you need a big YAGI-style UHF-only antenna to get all your local digital channels on a consistent basis.

(Kudos for knowing it's only "antennae" when speaking of biological ones, btw.)

Re:And how long ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26643707)

And how am I supposed to get WJBK, Channel 7-DT when the conversion is complete if I only have a UHF antenna?

Re:And how long ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26643531)

Someone got the idea in his head about selling special "digital" and "HD" antennas. They're the same thing as regular UHF/VHF antennas, but they have a reassuring logo on the box.*

*it's possible to make an antenna that is marginally more efficient by reducing the bandwidth (since the bands are shrinking). But most people are already sacrificing much, much more by using dual-band antennas anyway, and the tighter bandwidth antennas are likely to also be more fragile.

Re:And how long ... (1)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643669)

Just wondering, since the frequencies are still UHF/VHF - why would people be messing with their antennas?

Because they'll be desperately trying to adjust them once they find out that digital signals usually have poorer reception than analog. Also, many who used to get by with rabbit ears will need to install a new external antenna.

The problem is multiplied by the fact that any small glitch in reception causes a black screen, and most annoyingly, dropped audio, which can easily ruin an entire show if it happens at a critical moment. (They really should have allocated a few KHz for a backup *analog* audio channel in the ATSC broadcast standard.)

Re:And how long ... (1)

m0s3m8n (1335861) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643855)

Well, when I initially started with HDTV, I could get 5 channels over sat and had to erect a high-gain 110-inch antenna in my attic (not roof thankfully). I live in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area where our local channels are broadcast from towers approximately 20 miles away. Furthermore, the towers are located on three different azimuths. If I wanted to get all the local channels I would have had to somehow install three antennas and commingle their singles (not sure how or if possible). What you COULD see are people attempting to install large antenna in areas with marginal signal strength. Remember, with analog, a weak signal was OK, but with digital that same strength signal may not be sufficient.

Re:And how long ... (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643367)

If they love TV that much that they will climb onto their icy roof in below zero weather before doing any kind of research, they will have already seen the hundreds of warnings and commercials on TV. Not trying to say they deserve "bad things"... okay, I kind of am.

Re:And how long ... (1)

Flying Scotsman (1255778) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643415)

Similarly, but on the other hand, if we do move the date to June, people who don't have converter boxes will find out that their TV reception has been cut out in the midst tornado season.

Re:And how long ... (1)

DrLang21 (900992) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643469)

They just need to get a radio. You can power many radios from batteries in case the power goes out, unlike TVs.

How lame (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26643293)

The government doesn't realize that the TV companies have teams ready to go for Feb 17 and all this flip-flopping costs them money in rescheduling, etc..

Re:How lame (2, Informative)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643703)

The government doesn't realize that the TV companies have teams ready to go for Feb 17 and all this flip-flopping costs them money in rescheduling, etc..

Why should they reschedule? There's nothing that says they can't make the switch before the deadline, and some already have. The only reason broadcasters should take advantage of a delay is if they aren't going to be ready by Feb 17.

The only benefit for consumers in extending the switch date is the extending of the availability of the coupons for converter boxes.

Losing a TV signal and getting a job is a crisis (0, Offtopic)

utahraptor (703433) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643301)

We have got to keep the unemployed watching TV or we risk them getting a job!

It was a vote to suspend the rules (5, Informative)

stinerman (812158) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643329)

Thomas [house.gov] says this is a rule suspension vote [house.gov] . It takes a 2/3 vote to suspend the rules and pass a bill. Usually this is reserved for bills that are not very controversial and have broad support.

This failure just means that the bill will have to go to the rules committee. After a rule is passed and the bill is brought up under that rule, a simple majority is all that is needed to pass the bill.

This is just a very small bump in the road to extend the deadline.

Re:It was a vote to suspend the rules (1)

lytles (24756) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643453)

thanks stinerman - figuring out why 2/3 was required was the only reason i clicked on this one :)

Re:It was a vote to suspend the rules (3, Interesting)

yincrash (854885) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643493)

Seeing as the deadline is February 17th, any bumps make the chance of having the bill pass much smaller.

Re:It was a vote to suspend the rules (3, Informative)

stinerman (812158) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643523)

A rule takes literally a day or so to come to the floor. I wouldn't be surprised to see this bill passed by the end of the week.

Networks want to delay (5, Interesting)

TreyGeek (1391679) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643333)

In the Houston Chronicle this morning there was an interesting blurb about the delay. Basically, the networks want to delay the switch-over because they don't want it to happen in the middle of the season. They are afraid of losing viewers (and thus advertising dollars) from people who aren't ready for DTV. They'd rather wait until spring/summer when they are airing re-runs.

Re:Networks want to delay (1)

isfry (101853) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643755)

Not to mention February is sweeps month too.

So how many... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26643335)

tax-free wooden arrows is it going to take to get the thing passed this time?

people clinging to their TVs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26643337)

As the opiate of the masses, is washington worried what happens when people lose their pacifier?

Imagine if there was a forced IPv6 transition in a year, omg there would be riots, literally!

2/3? (1)

uncoveror (570620) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643345)

Why does this take more than a simple majority? Could somebody clarify why there have to be 2/3?

Re:2/3? (1)

stinerman (812158) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643417)

See above [slashdot.org] .

Short answer - politics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26643443)

Long answer: Who wants free beer for all white Californian IT workers paid for by IT workers using Firefox in the other 49 States?

A simple majority would allow for this wonderful law to pass. But my guess is you live in a fly over State and cling to your religion.

Good. (4, Insightful)

holmstar (1388267) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643375)

Lets get it over with already. The people who don't have converter boxes can just... *GASP* read a book, or do something productive instead.

Re:Good. (1)

internerdj (1319281) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643539)

Exactly. Now where did I put that book that contains all the important stuff that happened today in my town that was delivered to my living room for free?

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26643741)

I think it was left on your doorstep by a delivery person. The stuff its printed on is handy too!

Obvious solution no one has considered. (1)

jonpublic (676412) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643413)

So if I understand the problem correctly, they want to push back the transition date because of confusion & the backlog of coupons that have yet to be sent out.

The coupons aren't being sent out because the program was only allocated a limited amount of money and they've already sent it all out in the form of coupons. They are waiting for current coupons to expire before sending more coupons out. Well, increase funding to send the remaining requested coupons out seems like the most obvious solution to the coupon problem. I bet a majority of them end up expiring anyway, so the program would be able to return that money to congress.

So that leaves the other problem, which is confusion. People are going to be confused no matter what. They will be even more confused when the date moves. Might as well get it over with.

As for myself, I can currently watch TV via an antenna. I doubt I'll be able to after the transition, as I'm pretty far from the broadcast towers.

Re:Obvious solution no one has considered. (1)

stinerman (812158) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643511)

I bet a majority of them end up expiring anyway, so the program would be able to return that money to congress.

Yes. My grandma got a coupon "just in case". She has cable, obviously she won't need one.

As for myself, I can currently watch TV via an antenna. I doubt I'll be able to after the transition, as I'm pretty far from the broadcast towers.

Some broadcasters aren't transmitting digitally at full power. Hell, I live about 10 miles from most of my towers and still have occasional trouble getting reception. It could be that you are in one of those areas where the stations will pump up their power output after the transition.

Re:Obvious solution no one has considered. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26643761)

DTV has better range with less broadcast power.

So, yes, most likely you'll be able to watch DTV over air. The antenna just becomes a lot smaller because DTV is higher frequency range.

2ndly, it's a digital signal so you'll either get it or have no picture. Signal strength of 25% is adequate. On analog channel, 25% is crap picture.

Digital Transition sucks for some of us (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26643429)

I live in the city of Pittsburgh, and I loose three channels (including my only ABC and CBS options) as soon as the transition happens. Additionally I purchased one of the converter boxes, and the video lags and is out of synch with the audio.

I would purchase a new box, but everyone I know with a converter box has problems with the conversion dropping lots of frames or being out of sync all the time. I though digital TV was supposed to be more not less channels, and improve the quality. My CBS picture is even nice over analog.

So I guess I would like the date to be later, but more accurately I want to know why this "great conversion experience" that I paid to prepare for is making my tv access suck.

Anyone have suggestions that don't involving spending $70 a month for five tv shows that aren't online or on itunes?

Re:Digital Transition sucks for some of us (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26643569)

Get Cable TV. You don't need to subscribe to the fancy 70 dollar a month option, just get basic cable. A digital box is not required if you are a cable subscriber. So spend 15 bucks a month and get your local channels.

Re:Digital Transition sucks for some of us (1)

cheezeboy (659796) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643661)

Called Comcast yesterday and they told me no plans available anymore for under 59.99 plus taxes and fees. I guess my $70 was an overestimate.

Re:Digital Transition sucks for some of us (1)

Ron Bennett (14590) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643747)

No, you were right the first time. Regular "Basic" isn't the lowest tier. Cable companies are tricky when it comes to that.

Call back and ask for Limited Basic. It's around $15 per month.

Ron

Re:Digital Transition sucks for some of us (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643839)

As an add on to the sibling post, you might see the fcc flier: http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/cablechannels.pdf [fcc.gov]

I'm not sure which are exempt from offering the basic service tier (it's not clear); I thought it was required by law.

In theory, DirecTV offers international basic for $10/mo, which is your locals plus a short list of non-english channels. Not sure what the requirements are to get hooked up with that, but if all you need are the locals it might work.

Re:Digital Transition sucks for some of us (4, Insightful)

Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643579)

>Anyone have suggestions that don't involving spending $70 a month for five tv shows that aren't online or on itunes?

Kill your TV.

Re:Digital Transition sucks for some of us (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26643709)

bit torrent

That's weird (3, Informative)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643487)

considering the Senate passed the bill unanimously, [loc.gov] I figured it would easily make it through the House.

Re:That's weird (0, Flamebait)

bendodge (998616) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643923)

I believe Senate is more liberal than the House and thus more likely to kowtow to his O-ness.

Its Amazing (2)

97cobra (89974) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643513)

Never underestimate the total lack of understanding the average slashdot poster has about how laws are passed. But then they dont even read the articles much less a civics book. It was a rules vote not a vote on the actual law.

idiots too stupid for their idiot box (1, Insightful)

gonar (78767) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643543)

for the first time in 8 years I am happy with something the republicans have done in congress.

any idiot who hasn't yet gotten off their a$$ to get their TWO FREE converter boxes is too st00pid to be allowed to watch the idiot box.

Ads. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26643637)

Really, do you think that Ad companies want a sizable chunk of their audience to not watch television?

Sounds good to me (1)

Dopeskills (636230) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643697)

The widespread loss of television service could be a blessing in disguise. People might actually start to read books or interact with family members.

Re:Sounds good to me (1)

nizo (81281) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643875)

I'd wager there would be higher murder rates and widespread looting without tv.

Delaying the inevitable (4, Insightful)

timholman (71886) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643777)

As so many others have pointed out, It doesn't matter if the switchover happens 3 weeks, 3 months, 3 years, or 30 years from now - you're going to have millions of people, most of them elderly or low income, who are going to turn on their TVs and say "What's wrong with this damn thing?" They don't read the news, they have no clue the switchover is coming, and they will scream bloody murder when it does.

The ONLY way to keep that from happening would be for the U.S. government to send teams of technicians to every household in America to verify the converter boxes were installed. Even then you'd have a lot of elderly shut-ins who would call the police to arrest the "intruders" at their door.

Time to bite the bullet and switch over NOW - waiting any longer will do nothing but delay the inevitable.

Hawaii already switched... what's the big deal? (4, Interesting)

leonbev (111395) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643805)

Hawaii already made the switch to digital TV on January 15th. I haven't heard any newa about their state having any major problems with this transition, so why are they making a big deal about this now?

Note a vote down (1)

lymond01 (314120) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643843)

As noted, this is only a vote to suspend the rules which failed. Now the bill must go to a rules committee, then up for vote again (a majority vote will pass it).

But really, if people wake up February 17th and realize they don't have a TV to watch, three things could happen:

1) They'll do something else
2) They'll go pay $40 for their own converters (and brick and mortar stores should prep for this)
3) And because this is the United States of America, a person may do neither 1 or 2, but instead spend hundred of dollars to file a law suit.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...