The debate over the date of the switch to digital TV continues: The House defeated the bill passed by the Senate on Monday, which would have delayed the transition from Feb. 17 to June 12. (Via the Baltimore Sun.) The Obama transition team called for the delay partly to give the government time to make up for a shortage of $40 vouchers to offset the cost of a converter — and Nielsen estimates there are more than 6.5 million analog households that aren’t ready for the transition.
The delay was also pushed as a way to stave off confusion. And there’s plenty of it, as as our own Staci D. Kramer noted that even people who already have digital connections aren’t sure that their service won’t be impacted by the switch.
House Republicans argued that a delay this late would increase costs for TV stations — as they would be forced to continue broadcasting both analog and digital signals for four more months — as well as burden wireless companies and public broadcasting services that have been prepping to use the extra spectrum vacated by the switchover. Of course, House Democrats can bring up the bill again, but the back-and-forth only adds more confusion to the mix.
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