Analog Extension DTV Bill Shows Life

Nov 19, 2008  •  Post A Comment

A DTV “nightlight” bill that would allow broadcasters to keep analog signals on for some time past the switch to digital television could go to a vote in the Senate as soon as Wednesday, Broadcasting & Cable reports. If approved by the Senate it would go before the House for a vote as well. If approved, broadcasters would still be required to switch their primary signals to digital but still be allowed to air DTV-switch information on analog for up to 30 days after the Feb. 17 shut-off date, the trade says.
—Sergio Ibarra


  1. Unfortunately, there are too many variables involved with getting DTV, to make a total “hard switch.”
    Such issues include:
    1 ) 8-vsb modulation going through walls and obsticles, for those in apartments, this will be the most drastic of obsticles. As more and more foreclosures and poorer families move to apartments, the government must look out for them.
    2) Equipment education is poor, at best. There is very little on what makes a good and receptive (or sensitive) DTV converter… and NOTHING on what makes the most receptive DTV’s. TV Week’s Mary Robinson and myself discuss this particular issue in her DTV transition blog area. There is clearly a deficit in this area.
    3) The education deficit of what interferes in getting signals. This is related to number 1. Not 1 PSA clearly shows that trees, buildings, walls, metal siding and faiol on wall insulation, moving metal cars/trucks/busses, etc., interfere with DTV. only 1 PSA has about buying an antenna.
    4) When the complete switch begins. This means low pwer, class A stations, etc. Nobody mentions that Low power stations remain on the air until 2011.
    5) What happens when people have emergency situations, such as bad weather. This was also discussed between myself an Mary Robinson. She found out that Hurricane Ike was not conducive to DTV signals… leaving her without public safety information. That same thing can happen in tornadoes, etc. This has great ramifications.
    Point being, the USA is not even remotely ready to totally convert. There are too many issues involved at the current time. I’vebeen squaking about that for a while now… but little had changed.
    Remember, many are losing cable, due to price, and many more will, when cable ups the charges for it’s DTV signal next year. That’s already happening. I know this, because My mother in Two Rivers, WI… is on Charter, with a more costly bill..and she cannot get all of the local DTV stations. With people losing jobs, as her household lost 1 of 2 jobs, one must think about the public’s safety and information*.
    All I can say… we need more to be done, before we turn off analog (NTSC) signals.
    * = Reference to the 1996, 1999 and 2001 Telecommunications Acts and the amendments associated with such acts. All were enacted by the FCC.

  2. I agree. I’m also concerned that DTV warnings & ‘education’ appear to be written only in English. Where I live some people seem to read only Russian, Chinese, Korean, Arabic…

  3. You people are only demonstrating the total “dumbing down” of America. If you can’t figure how to convert to digital after all this publicity, you probably just need to hire some ten-year-old kid to hook it up for you.
    I have been watching DTV ever since it started, and find that the signals are at least as strong on the same antenna as analog.
    This proposed “extension or delay” would also cause other troubles, especially for those stations who will be sending digital signals on ‘formerly’ analogue channels. You can’t send them both on the same channel simultaneously.

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