[opendtv] Re: Lawmakers Establish 2009 Deadline for Analog TV Phaseout

  • From: Cliff Benham <cbenham@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 20 Dec 2005 14:41:02 -0500

I'll believe it when all I see is snow.

Mark Aitken wrote:

>So..do we now rewind the clock and start the stop watch again?
>*Lawmakers Establish 2009 Deadline for Analog TV Phaseout*
>By Arshad Mohammed
>Washington Post Staff Writer
>Tuesday, December 20, 2005; D05
>They've finally set a date -- Feb. 17, 2009.
>That's the last day the over-the-air analog signals that have brought 
>television programs into Americans' homes for decades will be broadcast, 
>leaving only digital signals, under an agreement reached by House and 
>Senate negotiators over the weekend.
>That means that millions of people will either have to buy new digital 
>TV sets or get their hands on a set-top converter box that allows the 
>digital channels to be viewed over an old analog television. In 
>addition, the negotiators agreed to spend up to $1.5 billion in federal 
>funds to subsidize the set-top boxes for consumers.
>Under the legislation, which was passed by the House yesterday and is 
>expected to be approved by the Senate this week, consumers will be able 
>to get up to two $40 coupons per household to help defray the cost of 
>the set-top boxes.
>The bill chiefly affects people who watch TV on sets that pick up analog 
>signals through their antennas. Cable companies are expected to win 
>permission from Congress to convert digital signals so they can be 
>viewed over an analog set. Satellite TV customers already receive 
>digital signals.
>The legislation will allow the government to take back the radio 
>spectrum used for analog TV broadcasts. The government then plans to 
>auction some of the spectrum to bring in an estimated $10 billion over 
>five years -- $7.4 billion of which would go toward reducing the budget 
>It also sets aside spectrum to help police, firefighters and other first 
>responders to communicate during emergencies.
>The legislation has been debated by lawmakers for months, with the most 
>contentious issues being the cutoff date -- which could put politicians 
>in the uncomfortable position of turning off voters' TV sets -- and the 
>amount of the set-top box subsidy.
>Some legislators argued that federal funds should not subsidize private 
>television viewing. But majorities in both houses of Congress concluded 
>that some money should be set aside to help.
>© 2005 The Washington Post Company

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