Friday, March 27, 2009

DTV Transition Delay Is An Epic Fail

Two months ago the US government decided to delay the DTV transition, stating that they didn't want to leave behind the 6.5 million households that still weren't entirely ready for the change over. Despite those delays and the addition of $650 million in funding Nielsen is reporting that more than 4.2 million homes are still unready for the transition. Making the DTV delay utterly pointless and a complete failure.

Congress passed legislation in February to delay the transition from Feb. 17 to June 12 and give the NTIA an additional $650 million for converter box coupons and consumer education. The hope was that the delay would clear a backlog of coupon requests after the NTIA's $1.3 billion budget for coupons was used up. Despite the fact that the waiting list for coupons has been cleared it is estimated that only a third of the original 6.5 million households have acted and taken steps to ready themselves for the transition.

Gary Shapiro, president of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), reiterated that he never supported the delay to June 12. "I remain convinced that the nation would have survived sticking with the original transition date," Shapiro said. "More importantly, our most recent survey data leaves me more optimistic that the nation is fully prepared for a successful and consumer-friendly transition on June 12.

Several Republican lawmakers share the view that the DTV delay wasn't needed. Already, about a third of U.S. TV stations have converted to digital broadcasts, and most have received few complaints, said Cliff Stearns, a Florida Republican. "The sky did not fall," he added.

Yet more lawmakers questioned the need for the additional funding when about 95 percent of U.S. households were ready for the original transition date in February. "There's always going to be a certain percentage of people who are not ready," said Representative Lee Terry, a Nebraska Republican.

It appears as though delay has had little to no impact.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous7:41 PM

    All the delay did was prove, once again, that politics trumps common sense. Let's hope they don't push the date back again for the 4.2 million viewers who will never be ready.


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