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Marianne Paskowski

Support of DTV Transition Delay Grows

January 16, 2009 10:14 AM

I don’t know what’s so magical about June 12, but that’s the new date set by Sen. Jay Rockefeller, incoming chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, for the conversion of analog to digital signals.

Again, not to sound like a broken record, I’m all for the delay.

Separately, the House Appropriations Committee recommended earmarking another $650 million to fund the transition, which is looking more and more like it will not happen on Feb. 17 as originally planned.

This is all good stuff.

Yesterday, according to published reports, even Nielsen, the ratings giant, told its members that the TV industry simply was not ready to pull off a seamless transition.

Let’s face it: There were plenty of missteps along the way. Back in December, the National Telecommunications & Information Administration, which administers the DTV converter-box coupon program, notified Congress that it was about to run out of money.

Great move: According to USA Today, the message fell on deaf ears. Congress was not in session.

And just two weeks ago, when the NTIA actually did run out of money, leaving 2.1 million people who wanted the $40 coupons on a waiting list, that’s when all the angst grew.

Yep, our government at work again.


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Comments (12)


Yo, Blondie --

Just more incompetence in government, thanks to the Bushies and their warped perceptions about how to run the country. Hopefully, someone with some sense in the Obama administration will lead clueless legislators out of this silly morass, which so easily could have been avoided were its architects not brain dead.

Cruisin not bruisin

Marianne Paskowski:


Read somewhere the next batch of $40 coupons will go out first class, instead of bulk mail as the earlier coupons were sent.

Yes, another duh moment...m

Andy S.:

Now that the deadline is one month away, all the TV stations here are really ramping up their informational spots, going all out to make viewers aware of what they need to do. They've already paid out good money to fund the equipment needed to make the switch, and don't need to be paying for two sets of equipment for another three months. Meanwhile, all the companies that paid for the spectrum have tailored their rollouts to the February 17 date. When the government forces this delay until June, they'll be piling one debacle on top of another. Viewers who've been bombarded with warnings about the February 17 deadline will wonder what's really going on. They'll put their coupons in a drawer, and when they pull them out in three months, they'll find expired coupons! What will the government do then?

Marianne Paskowski:


All good points you raise. I wonder how many stations, like those in Hawaii will throw the switch anyhow?

Hawaii did it with little fanfare and few glitches.

However, the cow is out of the barn here, and June 12th looks like the date. Post May sweeps, time for new coupons to hit the mail and time for more viewer awareness, like they don't already know.


Joe Guerin:

Ms. Paskowski,

It's sickening how the liberal claptrappers beef about the Feb. 17 digital transition. You shouldn't be drinking their Kool-Aid.

Let the market sort things out the way God and George W. Bush intended; people either get the message now and watch their favorite programs on Feb. 17, or they don't get the message and are motivated on Feb. 18 to get the lead out and get a new TV, a box, or a cable subscription. The marketplace is the best information source and leveler; don't let today's few hiccups in the financial sector taint your faith in the Invisible Hand of the market.

Marianne Paskowski:

Don't think you've noticed, but the hands of the financial marketplace are tied up behind their backs.

Nothing is getting done, banks loaning to banks, bit of a meltdown. Let's hope for an early spring thaw.

Thanks, I think....m

Dr. Foster K. Williamson, PhD:

Dear Ms. Paskowski:

We researchers at The Institute cannot fail to notice how the flawed mailings of digital signal converter box discount coupons exhibits the classic inverse-Poisson distribution, particularly when examined through a log-linear decomposition algorithm modified by the Z coefficient (average IQ of broadcast company CEOs). The implications of this phenomenon are profound, and extremely troubling for national security.

Our calculation of 2nd level harmonic of leading indicators suggests that post-transition spectrum cross-frequency leakage could result in abberated Homeland Security enforcement transmissions. Episodes of "24" being broadcast as first-responder security bulletins, for example, or "Amos 'n Andy" reruns being shown in lieu of presidential cabinet photo-ops.

You have been warned.

Doc Willy

Marianne Paskowski:

Let me tell you what your problem is because everyone up here likes to tell me what mine is: you think too much.And you are off the reservation.

Chill out...m


Hey M,
TV's are going to get cheap here after Superbowl Sunday. Go with the transition. Extend the date for the coupons if needed, send out some more. Find the money. Its not that hard. We found billions for the out of date US automakers. Give Granny and her cat more local options with the rabbit ears. Better yet: Granny, have your son in law come over and hook up a new HDTV for ya to the rabbit ears. Jiggled mine a bit here the other day (we have cable but that's standard def so I switch to rabbit ears for shows I want in HD) and found a few more channels here the other day. Too late now to change things.

Marianne, you have it right.

This Winter's magic word on the Digital Transition is DELAY.

We Just can not leave millions out in the cold.
Peter Bright

Marianne Paskowski:

Not sure if what you suggest now that this issue is meandering its way through the House and Senate. To top that off a new president come tomorrow and a new FCC chairman.

The guys have weighed in...m

Marianne Paskowski:

I was a little shocked yesterday that TV viewers had to have HBO or a computer to watch yesterday's "free" pre-inaugural concert in Washington.

So much for a president for all...m

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