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US Digital TV Switchover Delayed Until June 334

Posted by samzenpus
from the we'll-do-it-later dept.
necro81 writes "The Delay DTV Act was passed first by the Senate, now by the House, and will be signed by the President. The hard cutoff for turning off analog TV broadcasts in the US has been pushed out to June 12th. The act had earlier failed to gain a 2/3rds majority in the House, but passed this afternoon with a simple majority. The bill allows stations to cease analog transmissions at any point between Feb 17th (the old cutoff) and June 12th, and many have signaled they will do so."
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US Digital TV Switchover Delayed Until June

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  • Deja vu (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @07:08PM (#26731619)

    In June, you'll find that there are many people who have not bought digital receivers for their televisions. June is the new February.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Curunir_wolf (588405)
      The final date will be December 21, 2012 [amazon.com].
    • Re:Deja vu (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @08:17PM (#26732159)

      In June, you'll find that there are many people who have not bought digital receivers for their televisions. June is the new February.

      Actually, most TV stations are still going to do the change on Feb 17th as planned. The bill just gives them the option to delay out until June.

      Disclaimer, I work for a cable provider, and ALL of our market affiliates have already told us they are going to change on the 17th as planned.

      So basically this bill was a waste of time. Ten years from now, people will still be pulling out old TV's and wondering why they don't work.

  • Confusion (Score:5, Insightful)

    by daveywest (937112) on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @07:10PM (#26731641)

    The reason for the date change: a bunch of elderly and poor TV viewers are confused about the switchover.

    The result: now everyone is confused.

    President O, aren't there more important things for you to be working on?

    • Re:Confusion (Score:5, Insightful)

      by geekoid (135745) <`moc.oohay' `ta' `dnaltropnidad'> on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @07:16PM (#26731697) Homepage Journal

      A) it's not a whole lot of his time.
      B) It important to a lot of people.

      TO me the most important part of the bill is that I'll be able to get another card for a converter, since my last one expired.

      • Re:Confusion (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Chris Burke (6130) on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @08:13PM (#26732137) Homepage

        TO me the most important part of the bill is that I'll be able to get another card for a converter, since my last one expired.

        Yeah, more funding for the coupon program is a big part. You may be able to get another one regardless, since there's supposed to be two per household. Since an expired coupon's money goes back in the pool, you may luck out and be able to get one.

        To people worried that this is just part of a never ending cycle of delays because we'll never have everyone ready for the switch... First, this delay is much shorter than previous delays which moved the roll out date by years, so even if it more delays occur I think we can all see the change is really going to happen. Second, you have to admit that there were problems with the implementation of the roll out. The coupon program was underfunded, and confusion resulted in a lot of people who didn't need converters using coupons to get them -- I remember seeing adds on cable TV that did not specify that having cable meant you didn't need the box. Shortages of converters meant a lot of people who did need the boxes couldn't get them before their coupon expired, then couldn't get a new one because the coupon program was out of money.

        Fix those problems, let the extra publicity for the issue reach the public, give it a few months, and we should find that far fewer people are still unprepared. Yes not everyone will be and I'm perfectly happy letting the lazy suffer at that point. This is about fixing the problems the government caused by screwing up the program. If they do in fact fix the problem, they'll get most of the people who weren't ready because of those problems, and then I'll say we'll be ready for the switch.

        • "Shortages of converters meant a lot of people who did need the boxes couldn't get them before their coupon expired, then couldn't get a new one because the coupon program was out of money."

          You left out a lot of the first adopter boxes were crap and featureless.

          "Fix those problems, let the extra publicity for the issue reach the public, give it a few months, and we should find that far fewer people are still unprepared."

          They could have done this like a rebate program.

          • Re:Money Confusion (Score:5, Interesting)

            by commodore64_love (1445365) on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @10:32PM (#26733223) Journal

            As an early adopter I want to correct some myths:

            - Yes initially the boxes were rare, however by April 2008 the stores & online retailers were filled with tons of boxes. "I can't found one" is a pisspoor excuse.

            - No the initial boxes were not crap. Zenith boxes were available as early as February 2008, and most folks at avsforum.com say it's the best box you can buy. People like me who bought a Zenith were not screwed.

            - Right now stores are overflowing with boxes, and even so ~50% of coupon holders don't use them. Why are half of people applying for coupons they never intend to use? It makes no sense.

            - Even without a coupon, you can buy a $40 box from dtvpal.com or a $50 box from Kmart. That's not much more expensive than taking the family to a restaurant, and if you can afford that, then you can afford a box.

            - According to Nielsen, only 5% are unprepared and they are largely teens and 20-somethings who probably don't watch TV and therefore don't care. They are spending their dollars on new forms of entertainment like the internet.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        >>>B) It important to a lot of people.

        No not really. Only 5% of the nation is not ready according to Nielsen Ratings. The other 95% have cable, dish, or DTV boxes. Here in Pennsylvania the number is 99% ready, and that's probably true throughout most of the I-95 corridor. This postponement is ridiculous. We not only have a majority ready to switch, but a super-duper Constitutional majority (greater than three-fourths) ready for the switch.

    • Congress is the one doing this, not the president.

      • Re:Confusion (Score:5, Interesting)

        by daveywest (937112) on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @07:19PM (#26731725)

        Congress is the one doing this, not the president.

        ... at the president's request.

        • Well, okay, but Congress also doesn't necessarily have to do what the president asks either.

          • by jythie (914043)

            Doesn't "necessarily have to"?
             
                It is the president's job to do what congress says, not the other way around.

            • You're confusing a President with a Prime Minister.

              The Executive, Legislature, and Court are supposed to balance each other.

              The Legislature in no way has complete primacy in the US form of representative democracy.

              • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                by novakyu (636495)

                The Legislature in no way has complete primacy in the US form of representative democracy.

                But a congress with a backbone does have more power than the president.

                The president wants to go through with an invasion that doesn't serve U.S. interest? The congress can vote not to fund that activity.

                The president wants to do something shady? The congress can outlaw that activity.

                The president (or one of his underlings) have done something shady? The congress can impeach him.

                The legislature (especially one with veto-overriding majority on one side of the issue) is the most powerful branch of the governm

          • Re:Confusion (Score:5, Insightful)

            by commodore64_love (1445365) on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @10:41PM (#26733305) Journal

            If you look at the voting rolls (and listen to the speeches), you can see that this is a case of the Democrats falling-in-line behind Democrat Obama's wishes. 95% of them voted "yes" while only 5% of Republicans joined them. The Republicans (rightly) decided the delay was not necessary, but instead proposed simply handing-out more coupons to help people buy boxes.

            As for the speeches, it was amusing: "We must postpone the analog switchoff because it we don't, emergency responders won't be able to hear their calls." - Um what?!?!? Clearly the Congresswoman who said this has no idea what she's voting for. They're just obediently falling into line as commanded by their Democrat Speaker of the House. "We have to support Obama and he wants to delay the analog switchoff, so vote yes even if you don't understand what it's about."

            I was happy when I heard this Democrat from California: "I suspect another motive. I suspect President Obama's decision to delay DTV comes from his new advisor - a man who works for Clearchannel Communications that purchased channels 52 to 69. It's not about helping the people, but about helping a corporation. We should investigate this further."

          • Re:Confusion (Score:5, Insightful)

            by walt-sjc (145127) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @07:50AM (#26735753)

            Holy shit. In other words, Obama can do no wrong... Like the fact that he, like his good buddy Bush, still supports warrant-less domestic spying on Americans and granting immunity to the telcos - but it's OK *NOW*, he is a Democrat! And Bush was the devil!

            Here is a giant freakin cluebat. Obama is NOT the black Jesus Christ come to save the world. Don't get me wrong, our other option for Pres. was no better, but decisions like this (DTV delay) are just fucking stupid, and the majority of congress support this stupidity.

            Now there are many good reasons for supporting Obama and that's FINE! This, however, isn't one of them.

      • Congress is the one doing this, not the president.

        Since the President has requested the action and, presumably, will sign the bill rather than vetoing it and having Congress attempt to override the veto, it is the President and Congress doing it; it is not "Congress , not the President".

    • by IANAAC (692242)

      The reason for the date change: a bunch of elderly and poor TV viewers are confused about the switchover.

      Do these people have any less right to get support from their representatives? There's a reason the vote took place. People talked to their reps.

      • Re:Confusion (Score:5, Insightful)

        by daveywest (937112) on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @07:30PM (#26731807)

        Before today's vote, only 6% of the population was confused by the changeover according to Neilson Media. That means you reached 94% of the population.

        94% comprehension is a pretty good result.

        I can only imagine how many people are going to be confused by a slow, staggered changeover instead of the solid Feb. 17 deadline. Its kind of like ripping off a band aid on a hairy arm. Its a lot more painful if you do it slowly.

        • by geekoid (135745)

          Not really.

          If you have your converter, you won't notice. No confusion.
          If you don't then you may seem some stations go away.

          • Re:Confusion (Score:5, Insightful)

            by nabsltd (1313397) on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @08:42PM (#26732347)

            With a hard cutoff date and no option to switch before that day, far less people would be confused.

            As it is, now you are adding people who already have ATSC receivers to the "likely confused", as they will have to keep track of exactly when each station switches and how that station switches (changing frequency, power level, transmitter location, virtual channel, etc.).

            In addition, automatically programmed devices (like the HD TiVo) will have to change the virtual to physical mapping at different times for each station. In some cases, the stations will choose to re-brand with the new permanent channel because that old channel could now be opened up. Think of the confusion if some new station ends up on channel 4 while "NBC 4" is broadcasting on channel 48.

            The thing that is most stupid is that the original plan wasn't to do the cutover on a Saturday afternoon. What possible reason could there be to make Tuesday the changeover day?

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by hazydave (96747)

              ATSC channels all broadcast a logical channel assignment, and that's what your PVR is going to use. So if your local "NBC-4" affiliate switches from UHF 48 down to some other assignment (could go back to VHF 4, but most are not returning to the lower VHF band), you'll still see it in the tuner as logical 4.

              If you're already digital, the only real effect here is that, for OTA stuff, you'll potentially have to re-scan more than once. There's a 99% chance that your local station already has their switch-off/sw

          • Re:Confusion (Score:4, Informative)

            by Matt (78254) on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @09:02PM (#26732507)

            Not really.

            If you have your converter, you won't notice. No confusion.
            If you don't then you may seem some stations go away.

            It's not that easy. TV stations in the VHF-High band (channels 7-13) are currently transmitting the digital version of themselves in the higher UHF channels. After they stop their analog transmissions, they'll move their digital transmissions to their VHF-High channels.

            Thus many major stations (4 out of the 7 big VHF stations here) will move around after the transition. Now that transition will be gradual and not so predictable. Stations will be moving around, and we'll have to keep rescanning or otherwise updating our tuners, either in converter boxes or new TVs.

        • Re:Confusion (Score:5, Insightful)

          by HeronBlademaster (1079477) <heron@xnapid.com> on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @08:06PM (#26732079) Homepage

          Especially confusing since stations have been shouting "FEBRUARY 17" from the rooftops for several months now.

          The same kind of people who aren't ready for it by now won't be ready for it by June. I have a sneaking suspicion that the delay is much more for the benefit of stations that aren't ready, rather than consumers.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by drinkypoo (153816)

            I have a sneaking suspicion that the delay is much more for the benefit of stations that aren't ready, rather than consumers.

            the question isn't whether you're paranoid, but whether you're paranoid enough. what if the goal is to delay the freeing up of the spectrum? it could be to give ma bell time to lock in their world domination before wireless takes over the last mile :)

        • by GWBasic (900357)

          I can only imagine how many people are going to be confused by a slow, staggered changeover instead of the solid Feb. 17 deadline. Its kind of like ripping off a band aid on a hairy arm. Its a lot more painful if you do it slowly.

          I would consider 3-10 years a "slow, staggered changeover." 3-4 months is more of a "we're turning it off now, and we really mean it... Yes, we really really really mean it."

          The real mistake isn't the changeover date or lack of coupons; it's that every TV sold since 1998 should have had a big sticker declaring the changeover date.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Toonol (1057698)
            The mistake is using legislative means to force an upgrade in technology onto a market. The problems now are a consequence of the initial misguided decision made many years ago.
            • Re:Confusion (Score:4, Informative)

              by commodore64_love (1445365) on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @10:55PM (#26733399) Journal

              There's a limited amount of space on the EM Band, therefore the government has to enforce rules just the same as it enforces rules on roads. Without rules, you'd have chaos with some stations showing analog, others digital, and likely with lots of interference. By placing the FCC in charge, you eliminate the "crashes" of overlapping stations.

        • by Toonol (1057698)
          This is Slashdot, and probably more than 6% of the posts here about the switchover are wrong or confused in some fashion about the switchover. In less technical forums, the percentage is much higher.

          I suppose, if you're confidently wrong, you're not confused.
    • Re:Confusion (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Toonol (1057698) on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @07:30PM (#26731811)
      Little things, en masse, are often more important than the big things.
    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by agm (467017)

      Why is the state even involved in this. How is this any of their business? It's a sad shame to see just how far socialism has crept into the system.

      • Re:Confusion (Score:4, Informative)

        by daveywest (937112) on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @07:52PM (#26731973)
        The state (rightfully) licenses business (tv, radio, cellphone, etc.) to use various parts of the electromagnetic radio wave spectrum. The state wants to change how those airwaves are used and must coordinate changes involving hundreds of licensees.
        • Are the new owners being compensated for the delay?

          Were they even consulted?

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by krbvroc1 (725200)

            Yes and yes. If you watched any of the 'debate' on the House floor, just about all the stakeholders wrote letters buying in to the delay.

          • Damn it. I had mod points yesterday. I'd really like to know what the answer to this question is.

        • by agm (467017)

          If the state is already permitting the use of various frequencies for commercial companies, surely those companies should be able to use those frequencies as they see fit. Legislating that they must go from analog to digital at all is spitting in the face of the liberties of those companies. IMO the whole digital/analog thing should be up to the free market, NOT the state.

          • Re:Confusion (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) * on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @08:32PM (#26732273) Homepage Journal

            If the state is already permitting the use of various frequencies for commercial companies, surely those companies should be able to use those frequencies as they see fit. Legislating that they must go from analog to digital at all is spitting in the face of the liberties of those companies. IMO the whole digital/analog thing should be up to the free market, NOT the state.

            The problem with this is the phrase "those companies." Different companies bid on different frequencies, for different uses, at different times. Nobody gets to buy a frequency forever. The only alternative to state allocation of specific frequencies for specific uses is a free-for-all in which everyone broadcasts whatever they want at whatever frequency they want and whatever power they can afford, and you end up with interference on every channel. Nobody wins in such a scenario. The current auction model may be broken, but the idea that "the market" can solve this particular problem runs up smack against the laws of physics.

            • Re:Confusion (Score:4, Insightful)

              by agm (467017) on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @09:02PM (#26732509)

              The problem isn't so much the way the state decides who gets to use which frequencies at which time based on an auction model - the problem is with the state then dictating what those frequencies are used for. Once a company has successfully bid for the usage of a slice of the radio-waves for a certain period, it should be completely up to them what they broadcast.

      • The state is involved in this because the airwaves belong to the public, not to the television stations. You cannot own a chunk of the electromagnetic spectrum any more than you can own the musical note "middle C." Spectrum is licensed, not sold.

        The switch to digital benefits the commercial interests that get to use the freed-up spectrum, and it hurts the existing viewers that are watching analog broadcast signals over an antenna. So part of the deal was that the people who benefit would pay to make up for

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by JesusQuintana (732069)
      I find your insensitivity toward the concerns of the elderly and poor to be troubling. I hope for your sake that you will never find yourself in either demographic. Of course, with our economic outlook, we're all going to be poor. So this will be mean that you will need to die young. The fact remains: you either get old or die.

      Access to information is an important part of being in a society. In many areas of the country, high speed internet access and cable are simply not available. Television is the only
    • by genner (694963)

      The reason for the date change: a bunch of elderly and poor TV viewers are confused about the switchover.

      The result: now everyone is confused.

      Hooray for equality!

  • by 0100010001010011 (652467) on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @07:13PM (#26731661)

    All the stations in my area have already announced they're going Digital Feb 17th no matter what. [pjstar.com] Electricity for those analog towers isn't cheap. I've heard of some markets that have already turned off their analog. Instead of one huge cut off, it'll more than likely be a trickle of stations until June.

    I did like the suggestion I saw last time this came up about making it go B&W for 90 days prior to the switch. Although I personally thought it would be more motivating if you cut off the last 10 minutes of an hour long show with a spoof of Peanut Butter Jelly Time. [youtube.com]

    It's Digital TV time, Digital TV time, Digital TV time

    (Chorus:)
    Where the show at 4x
    There it go 4x
    Digital TV 4x
    Do the Digital TV, Digital TV,
    Digital TV with a digital converter 2x

    • by BorgAssimilator (1167391) on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @07:25PM (#26731769)
      I applaud those stations. The confusion coming from the government is _not_ being fair to the television stations.
      • by fm6 (162816)

        Bah. Broadcasters can complain about fairness when they start acting fairly. They ignore rules about providing educational content, they no longer bother to do local journalism (except maybe a low-budget happy talk show), and they're only interested in broadcasting profitable pablum.

        Try to remember that broadcast spectrum is a finite resource and that broadcasters get exclusive (and extremely profitable) use of a chunk of it in exchange for "serving the public good". Assuming you can use that last phrase wi

    • by Toonol (1057698)
      If the lost revenue from decreased viewership is less than the electricity savings, good for them. It would be interesting to see how many people lose signal in those early switchovers.
    • by Knara (9377) on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @07:34PM (#26731857)

      One of the PBS stations in Denver had a problem that shut down their analog tower in December. They decided it wasn't worth it to fix it, and so have been running crawls all last month about how they're DTV only now.

  • by korney (1469497) on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @07:20PM (#26731741)
    Washington comes together, bails out the bunny ear industry.
  • House vote: 264-158 (Score:5, Informative)

    by Goobergunch (876745) <martin@@@goobergunch...net> on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @07:34PM (#26731855) Homepage Journal
    The House vote on this, for those interested, was 264-158. The details of which representative voted which way is on the House website [house.gov].
  • The bill allows stations to cease analog transmissions at any point between Feb 17th (the old cutoff) and June 12th, and many have signaled they will do so.

    Err, I should hope they _all_ signaled they will do so. They're required to by law, aren't they? I mean, what else are they going to do, cut off on Feb 12th? Or maybe June 23rd?

    I think you meant to say 'and many have signaled they will wait.'

  • by RockMFR (1022315) on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @07:59PM (#26732027)
    Trials for Gitmo prisoners delayed until they are no longer a threat to the United States.

    Paying back the national debt delayed until someone can force us to do so.

    Fixing social security delayed until Baby Boomers die.

    Puppy for Obama children delayed until after the next election.
  • by Chris Mattern (191822) on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @08:12PM (#26732129)

    ...June 1, when they'll postpone it again!

  • by PeterChenoweth (603694) on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @08:13PM (#26732133)
    Yes, and in May of 2009, Congress will realize that there are still 4.3 million people who aren't prepared. So they'll push it back to December of 2009. In November, due to 'economic hardship', we'll still have 3.8 million unprepared. So it'll get pushed back to May of 2010. In April of 2010, there will still be 2.9 million unprepared....

    If the 6.5 million unprepared haven't figured out how to scrape together the $40 to buy a box by now, they're not ever going to do it. Not by now, not by June, not ever.

  • The real push for this was from those stations concerned about of a loss of ad revenue when their analog stations go dark and all of a sudden a whole bunch of people cant watch them anymore.

    Those networks who think they can switch and not loose too many eyeballs will do so. Those who cant (e.g. those that know that lots of people in their transmission area don't have digital yet) will delay the switch-off until more people get digital boxes.

    • The stations are all pretty much switching anyway.

      Some mythical loss of advertising does not offset the costs already incurred to do the switch, nor the extra power to run the older transmitters.

      There may be a few outliers here and there, but it's not "The Networks".

      • by Toonol (1057698)
        Mythical? It's a certainty. The viewers before the switch > viewers after.
      • 50kW * 18 cents per kWh ~ 80 thousand dollars per year.

        Or.. the cost of ONE weather girl (when you factor in benefits).

        That might be a lot in some markets, but it's really a pittance in most.

  • by Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @08:41PM (#26732337)

    Is why America never went metric.

  • IDIOCY!!! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by cdrguru (88047) on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @08:49PM (#26732407) Homepage

    First off, if anyone was really worried about losing marketshare or advertising dollars, it is way, way too late to do anything about that now.

    If you recall, they already sold off the spectrum. Sure, they can force new services to delay implementation for a while - but THEY SOLD OFF THE SPECTRUM. Analog television broadcasting is dead, and unless they are going to pay Verizon back their $700 million or so, it is really dead and really soon.

    Sure, there is a substantial chance that a lot of people when faced with the decision to go to cable or satellite will chose "none of the above" because their rural location is underserved by DTV signals. Gosh, someone should have thought of that before. Guess what? I'd say they did and decided it was a small enough portion of the overall viewers that it doesn't matter what they do. If you aren't in a major metro area, chances are you are looking at either a much bigger antenna, cable or satellite. Or YouTube. I think you are going to see a lot of people outside of metro areas just turning the TV off and turning it on to play DVDs.

    I don't see how any four-month "delay" that is optional is going to make much difference. This might have been a sap to a few stations trying to say they weren't ready, still. But there is no way this is going to help your average viewer - they are either ready or they are forgotten.

    And the stupid coupon program isn't coming back either.

  • See here: http://www.betanews.com/article/House_votes_to_delay_DTV_transition_President_likely_to_sign/1233764370 [betanews.com]

    http://www.rabbitears.info/dtr.php [rabbitears.info] and http://www.rabbitears.info/termlist.php [rabbitears.info] for analog termination and digital switch.

    And I need to get a new antenna since KABC did its test this morning after 2 AM PST for 15 minutes. I could not get KABC's digital 7 with two rescan attempts. I was told my DB2 bowtie antenna cannot do low channels at all. :(

  • by Zhiroc (909773) on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @09:11PM (#26732561)
    I wasn't very keen on the delay (and offhand, I don't know how effective it will be anyways). But there's something that hasn't been discussed much. As I was reading this article [msnbc.com], I've learned that it's not just the tuner. Some people may have to change their antenna. The DTV switch moves the signal to the UHF bands, and if you have experience with broadcast TV, you'll know that UHF does not have the range of VHF, and needs a special antenna (a "bow-tie" if I remember) to get the best reception. February is a terrible time to have to go up on a roof in the north... So, I can see some merit in the delay. Even with a better antenna, it could be that no reception is possible for some rural customers, which is a whole different issue.
    • Yep. Unless you live within 20 miles of the big cities, you're not gonna get ANYTHING without a new outdoor rotating antenna.

  • Too late for Hawaii (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Shag (3737) on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @09:12PM (#26732577) Homepage

    Stations in Hawaii switched on January 15, so as to have their old towers torn down before the start of the mating season of an endangered seabird. So this won't make any difference for those of us in the 808 state.

    • In particular, they wanted the old antenna down before the nesting time for an endangered seabird at the 9500' level on Haleakala. As goes Maui, so goes the rest of 808. Naturally, we've got some mainland transplants on Maui moaning, who not only relocated from the mainland to Hawaii, but with malice of forethought bought places out half way out to Hana.

      Now that the Maui antenna is down at the 4000' antenna farm in Ulupalakua, there's a few miles of solid basalt that's attenuating their signal a tad, and th

  • by hack slash (1064002) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @01:27AM (#26734213)
    There will be a great disturbance in the US, as if millions of pocket tvs will cry out in white noise terror and suddenly be put away in a drawer never to be used again.
  • by the_arrow (171557) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @01:36AM (#26734245) Homepage

    What I don't understand is why it has to be done all at once? Why not do a rolling switchover? Switch a few transmitters at a time. This also makes it much easier to weed out problems, that can be solved much earlier. Worked very well for Sweden. And before anyone complains that Sweden and the USA can't be compared, remember it's just a question of scale. When Sweden switched two or three transmitters to digital at a time, the USA have to do twenty or thirty. Still better than to switch everyone at once, IMHO.

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