The Digital Television (DTV) transition that was scheduled to take place on February 17 could be delayed until June 12 if a White House proposal gains approval in Congress this week. The Senate already approved the legislation granting the delay, but the House rejected it in a vote last week. The House is expected to reconsider the bill this week.
Sponsors of the bill say the delay is necessary because there are about 20 million households that are still not prepared for the change. Another concern is that the agency that runs the program to provide $40 government coupons to subsidize the cost of converter boxes ran out of those coupons in early January, and there are more than a million people still waiting for them.
Digital converter boxes are necessary for older TVs with analog tuners that receive their signals by antenna. After the digital transition takes place, these TVs will have their screens go blank unless they are connected to converter boxes or the owners purchase cable or satellite TV service. Another option is to buy a newer TV that has a built-in digital tuner.
At Abt, we believe there should not be a delay in the DTV transition, because this will create more confusion among consumers and cause more taxpayer dollars to be spent. If you’d like more information, click here to see our DTV Transition Guide. To see our selection of digital converter boxes, click here. —by Graham W.