Print 93 comment(s) - last by jimbojimbo.. on Jan 19 at 4:12 PM

Even Superman can’t help Obama can’t speed up the delivery of funding for additional $40 coupons in time for the February 17 deadline.
Change is coming... in June

DailyTech reported earlier this month that the Obama transition team isn't too happy with the current state of the analog to digital TV (DTV) switch. The funds made available to provide $40 DTV conversion boxes to Americans ran out at the start of 2009 and many Americans would be left without TV signals once the DTV switch occurs next month.

In the latest saga concerning the DTV switch, Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) has introduced legislation to delay the switch until June 12. Obama and his team fully support this move as they feel that more time is needed to provide additional funding for $40 DTV converter box coupons.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the transition team, including President-elect Obama, wants "immediate consideration and passage" of the legislation.

John Podesta, Co-chair of the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition Team, stated earlier this month that the DTV switch cannot possibly take place on February 17 as planned because, "The government's programs to assist consumers through the upheaval of the conversion are inadequately funded." Podesta added, "There is insufficient support for the problems consumers (particularly low income, rural and elderly Americans) will experience as a result of the analog signal cutoff."

Current FCC chairman Kevin Martin fired back at the proposed delay by the Obama transition team. "I'm concerned about a delay in the sense that if you can solve that issue other ways, a delay has actually the potential to confuse consumers," said Martin. "I'm concerned about a delay in the sense that if you can solve that issue other ways, a delay has actually the potential to confuse consumers."

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By murray13 on 1/16/2009 4:18:17 PM , Rating: 2
Just a couple of things:

1. The reason for two coupons per household is that there are and average of 2.79 TV sets per household.

2. The money ran out. That's the reason their giving for the delay? Give me a break! Even if there are 2,000,000 households waiting for coupons, that's only $80mil. They can spend $700BIL to help companies from going under but can't find $80mil or whatever to fund the switch? How much did the government make from the spectrum sale? More than that!

Get the coupons out!
Make the switch on time!!!

I'd bet that more money will be spent on delaying the switch than more coupons will cost now...

RE: re:
By Spivonious on 1/16/2009 4:31:22 PM , Rating: 5
Haven't you heard? Obama's stimulus plan is going to cost us over $850 BILLION. That's $850,000,000,000. ANd I can guarantee that I won't see a dime of it, all because I make sensible spending decisions and live within my means (and sometimes below them).

RE: re:
By Bateluer on 1/16/2009 4:38:56 PM , Rating: 5
Just think, when you live under your means, you'll get to send that extra money, likely more than that extra, to people who didn't make sound financial decisions. I live pretty firmly in the lower middle class income range, I think, possibly lower, but I still manage to put away a decent amount of money every month and live at a decent standard of living.

I don't drive a Mercedes or a Hummer, nor do I own a 65" 1080p TV. I live in an apartment with the AC at 78 in the summer and the heat at 62 in the winter. I invest money into a 401k and a mutual fund every month.

RE: re:
By Spivonious on 1/16/2009 4:49:32 PM , Rating: 5

My wife and I make a combined $65k a year before taxes, and we've managed to buy two cars and a $200k house, put over $1500 every month into savings, and still have enough money to not worry about if we can afford going out to eat every once in a while, or if we should take that trip to Disneyworld.

All it takes is not spending every dollar that goes into your pocket. Could we have afforded a bigger house? Sure. Could we go out to eat every night? Sure. Could I order a $5000 custom Jackson guitar? Sure. But in the end, the peace of mind having savings brings is far better than spending everything you have.

RE: re:
By mcnabney on 1/16/2009 5:11:35 PM , Rating: 5
$65k a year is just under $5500/month.

If that $1500 is being taken out beforehand your monthly pre-tax income is about $4000. You have a house, so I am guessing you are going to lose about $1000 a month in net taxes and fees. That leaves $3000. The house is going to cost somewhere between $1200-1500 a month in mortgage payments, taxes, and insurance. That leaves you with about $50 a day to pay for utilities, maintenance, cars, gas, food, clothes, and everything else. I am impressed.

RE: re:
By JediJeb on 1/16/2009 6:01:29 PM , Rating: 1
That leaves $3000. The house is going to cost somewhere between $1200-1500 a month in mortgage payments, taxes, and insurance. That leaves you with about $50 a day to pay for utilities, maintenance, cars, gas, food, clothes, and everything else. I am impressed.

Is that $50 for each of those, or is there a new math where $3000-$1500=$50 If that is $50 for each gas, food, ect, depending on lifestyle that can be doable.

RE: re:
By ebakke on 1/16/2009 6:15:01 PM , Rating: 2
$1500/30 (days)= $50/day

RE: re:
By FITCamaro on 1/16/2009 6:09:56 PM , Rating: 2
Guess you two don't have student loans.

RE: re:
By ebakke on 1/16/2009 6:18:55 PM , Rating: 2
I have student loans (albeit, not many ~$10k because I worked, and was an RA for two years) and also pay all of my bills on $65k/yr. That includes the same major expenses/purchases/savings as Spivonious. It's about priorities, and not spending every penny that comes in. Keeping it to one car payment at a time. Buying used cars. Keeping the heat/AC low. Not going out to eat all the time. Not buying the latest electronics. Not going to the bars every weekend. No cigarettes.

You get the point.

RE: re:
By FITCamaro on 1/16/2009 9:05:37 PM , Rating: 2
I worked as well in college. But it didn't come close to paying for anything more than food and gas. 4 1/2 years of school + 3 years of summer school ($8000 each summer) + getting screwed out of my scholarship for 1 year (~$20,000 in loans that one year) = $65,000 in student loan debt. $500 a month in student loan payments.

I won't lie. I have some debts I shouldn't. But you learn from mistakes. I still pay all my bills on time every month and save. But nowhere near $1500 a month.

RE: re:
By Spivonious on 1/19/2009 10:07:24 AM , Rating: 2
No, we were lucky enough to have parents that had saved enough money. Plus we both went to a state school, so yearly tuition never topped $10k.

RE: re:
By zinfamous on 1/16/2009 6:26:10 PM , Rating: 5
yeah, see!

It's that lack of SPENDING from irresponsible people such as you and your wife that HAS DOOMED OUR market-driven ECONOMY!!!

It's the LOWER middle CLASS that's expected to SHOULDER the BURDEN during these toughest times, ya know. ;)

RE: re:
By Spivonious on 1/19/2009 10:12:16 AM , Rating: 2
LOL! Yeah, I have to admit that our stimulus check went straight towards the mortgage principle.

RE: re:
By Comdrpopnfresh on 1/17/2009 3:42:58 PM , Rating: 1
DINK? or you just don't realize the cost of college?

RE: re:
By Spivonious on 1/19/2009 10:09:37 AM , Rating: 2
No kids yet, but it's in the plans. We have some traveling that we'd like to do first.

I don't understand your comment about the cost of college. I have a BA (Music) and a BS (Computer Science) and my wife has a BA (Music Business). We never needed student loans because we went to a state university and had help from our parents.

RE: re:
By Regs on 1/18/2009 6:16:35 PM , Rating: 2
I wish I could buy a 200k house in Jersey. Well, I guess if I move to south Jersey.

RE: re:
By peritusONE on 1/16/2009 9:07:14 PM , Rating: 3
I don't drive a Mercedes or a Hummer, nor do I own a 65" 1080p TV. I live in an apartment with the AC at 78 in the summer and the heat at 62 in the winter. I invest money into a 401k and a mutual fund every month.

While I don't drive a Mercedes or a Hummer, I do own a nice 42" 1080p LCD, I keep my AC at 70 and my heat at 72, the wife and I have a savings account and 401k. Yes, we live life and buy things we enjoy, and we work for everything we have.

So don't act all elitest on the internet to people you don't even know because some of us like to spend some of the money we have NOW to keep ourselves a little more comfortable in our homes rather than have more money when we're 70 years old and can't get out of bed. Not everybody that buys themselves extra niceties in life are mooching off the government.

RE: re:
By PrinceGaz on 1/16/09, Rating: 0
RE: re:
By matt0401 on 1/16/2009 11:13:38 PM , Rating: 2
No, it just means he likes to be a bit cooler in the summer.

RE: re:
By kake on 1/17/2009 3:19:50 AM , Rating: 4
How do you manage 62 degrees in the winter? You must not have kids. "Daddy, I think this is frostbite, right?"

RE: re:
By Spivonious on 1/19/2009 10:13:24 AM , Rating: 2
To which you respond "You can't get frostbite unless it's under freezing. Put on a sweater." ;)

RE: re:
By Comdrpopnfresh on 1/17/09, Rating: 0
RE: re:
By Samus on 1/17/09, Rating: -1
RE: re:
By jimbojimbo on 1/19/2009 4:12:30 PM , Rating: 2
I guess nobody has to worry about the changeover until June 12th now so sit back, everyone. You don't have to do anything. Then when May 31st comes you can all panic and they can delay yet again. That's the way things work anyway.

So much for change
By Master Kenobi on 1/16/2009 3:34:29 PM , Rating: 5
Looks like the same old government idiocy to me. I'm actually curious to see if Verizon and AT&T has legal grounds to sue the government for delaying the switch, since this will delay their plans to use and build up that spectrum for the 4GLTE network planned for initial rollout in late 2009.

RE: So much for change
By Denithor on 1/16/2009 3:39:08 PM , Rating: 5
Exactly right.

You have stupid/uneducated people making decisions about things they have no idea about and should have no say in.

But we wouldn't want to deprive 100,000 other idiots of their OTA TV, then they couldn't watch Father Obama as he rolls out the next New Deal that's going to pull us out of this depression.

RE: So much for change
By quiksilvr on 1/16/09, Rating: -1
RE: So much for change
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 1/16/2009 3:53:44 PM , Rating: 2
You guys have to realize something about the analog to digital transition: from day 1, it has been done all stupid. Instead of building up the infrastructure for broadcasting digital signals FIRST and THEN shutting down analog, they are doing the exact opposite

It was the same or similar thing with Black and white TV and color TV. The whole nation was not switch over in one day to be able to receive color TV. Some remote areas had to wait 10 years longer then major cities. Just like some areas are still waiting for cable to come to them today. Really nothing new in that more remote areas should expect delays.

RE: So much for change
By croc on 1/16/2009 6:02:36 PM , Rating: 2
That 'switchover', wasn't a switchover. Not in the sense of analogue to digital. No change of frequency, no change of signal, (OK, some additional signaling required for colour), and either type of TV could still function just fine. In this case it is a wholesale conversion of the entire infrastructure. No converter, your analogue TV moght as well be a brick. No signal, same thing.

RE: So much for change
By cmdrdredd on 1/16/09, Rating: 0
RE: So much for change
By Suntan on 1/16/2009 8:08:55 PM , Rating: 3
Don't know about you but we've been watching only ATSC signals for a couple of years now. We live over 30 miles from the local broadcast antennas and feed 6 digital tuners off of one radio shack tv top antenna.

You need to come out from under the rock and deal with change.


RE: So much for change
By Oregonian2 on 1/19/2009 2:20:33 AM , Rating: 2
Uh, no I don't think so. The digital signals have been all running simultaneously with the analog locally for at least several years, and the deadline coming up has already been delayed several times and was originally several years ago. Delaying it again is insane (IMO). I think it was nearly a year ago when I got my two coupons (and used them within a few days of getting them for our guest-room TV and another off-room TV that doesn't have a DirecTV drop).

RE: So much for change
By FITCamaro on 1/16/09, Rating: 0
RE: So much for change
By tdawg on 1/16/2009 7:41:40 PM , Rating: 2
Wait, are we doing so well right now that he shouldn't touch anything? I guess since Bush did such a great job, we don't need any government at all. Then it's survival of the fittest. Yay, Darwin! Oh wait, can I say that here, or should it be, yay, intelligent design?

How about we give the new president a chance to show what he's capable of. If he sucks, then in 4 years we pick a new one; if he's good, maybe we give him 4 more years. I'd like to think it would have been the same the other way--if McCain had won, I wouldn't be tearing him apart before he shows me what he's capable of. As American's we should be able to stand behind our President, at least at the outset; if he screws us over, then we voice our criticism (it's much, much more valid that way anyway).

Hindsight is 20/20, but foresight is much blurrier.

RE: So much for change
By FITCamaro on 1/16/2009 9:09:36 PM , Rating: 2
McCain wasn't seeking to drastically alter our society either. His plan for the economy was to cut business taxes to spur job growth. As well as cut taxes for Americans who actually paid taxes. Not give money to people who don't.

Nor did he plan to implement a national health care system that in the future will run trillions and trillions of dollars in debt. If you seriously think the government will manage it responsibly (not even look at the quality of the health care it'll provide) just look at what they've done with Social Security. It's tens of trillions in the hole with no possible way they'll be able to meet its obligations.

RE: So much for change
By dever on 1/17/2009 2:45:29 PM , Rating: 3
Let's NOT stand behind ANY president just for the sake of it. Let's vigorously scrutinize every decision made by every facet of government!

I'll continue saying this... GOVERNMENT IS THE ONLY ENTITY WITH THE LEGAL RIGHT TO USE FORCE. Those who wield this sort of power need to be watched like a hawk.

Just like in science where incredible claims need incredible evidence... in politics, incredible power needs incredible scrutiny.

RE: So much for change
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 1/16/2009 3:43:15 PM , Rating: 4
I seem to remember hear about this change over 10 years ago. Exactly why do we need to delay one more day? Because some people did not know it was coming? If someone did not know this change was coming, they probably either never watch TV or have people that help them with day to day live activities. And don’t say money…if you had but away $5.00 per month for the last 10 years, you'd have $600 for a new TV.

RE: So much for change
By TomZ on 1/16/09, Rating: -1
RE: So much for change
By FITCamaro on 1/16/2009 4:38:59 PM , Rating: 4
Bullshit. I've seen commercials for the DTV switch since 2007.

RE: So much for change
By jjmcubed on 1/17/2009 11:47:06 PM , Rating: 2
I personally didn't see them until around March 2008. Then they were sporadic at best. But then again I don't watch much network TV.

Not trying to argue for the extension, just saying that you don't live in all area's and know what everyone is seeing. :)

RE: So much for change
By Comdrpopnfresh on 1/17/2009 3:53:02 PM , Rating: 2
I was wondering the same thing- there must be a clause. But I don't understand why a bill going through congress to delay the transition can happen, but with sufficient advanced warning about the earmarked money running up, a bill to give out more BEFORE NOW could have happened.
Why not just pay for people to have cable for a few months? (kidding)

By othercents on 1/16/2009 4:21:28 PM , Rating: 3
many Americans would be left without TV signals once the DTV switch occurs next month.

What will they do without TV? Maybe they will start watching porn on the free internet with the free computers you are providing for them.


RE: Gasp!!!
By Spivonious on 1/16/2009 4:32:57 PM , Rating: 4
Exactly, since when did TV become some kind of right?

Can I have a coupon for a Blu-ray player? My DVD player won't play them.

RE: Gasp!!!
By MozeeToby on 1/16/2009 4:39:44 PM , Rating: 1
If the government came into your home and replaced all and took all your dvds, replacing them with blu-rays, you might have a good argument.

A government mandated change is going to essentially brick the tuner in millions of TV's. That is the difference.

RE: Gasp!!!
By Spivonious on 1/16/2009 4:45:30 PM , Rating: 2
And how many of us still use that tuner to pick up OVA broadcasts? 1%? 2%? IMO the government should have never mandated the switch. It would have happened on its own in time.

RE: Gasp!!!
By AlexWade on 1/16/2009 8:44:02 PM , Rating: 2
Count me in as one of those OTA people, but I have a digital box. All the best TV shows I can watch for free on-line with less commercials. At least, the ones I watch do. That is called win-win.

RE: Gasp!!!
By DrKlahn on 1/16/2009 5:10:25 PM , Rating: 5
You TV is exactly the same as when you bought it. There was never any contract or agreement that guaranteed that you would receive an off air signal for the entire lifetime of the set. TV is a luxury item. It is not the Government's responsibility to ensure that citizens take action to ensure they continue to able to watch it.

The simple truth is that most of the people still not ready likely won't be motivated until the switch has taken place. It's never going to be a neat, clean switch.

RE: Gasp!!!
By Micronite on 1/16/2009 5:32:23 PM , Rating: 4
Not only that, but you actually paid money for the TV. Why? So you could watch the programming. The government didn't provide the TV, the government doesn't provide the programming, so why is it the government's responsibility to make sure it keeps working.

Too many Americans are hands out to those who are hands on.

RE: Gasp!!!
By tdawg on 1/16/2009 8:18:45 PM , Rating: 3
I'd argue that the fact that federal, state, and local governments utilize tv to broadcast emergency messages. So, since televisions are a potentially vital source of information that the government wants everybody to see (and practically every home has a tv), when they do away with that signal, yet still expect to be able to broadcast vital information to viewers, they should provide the equipment to access that information.

Now, two coupons per household seems ridiculous. You should only get one and then if you want to use a second, you should have to foot the bill yourself. That second becomes a pure luxury since only one is needed to receive these government broadcasts.

RE: Gasp!!!
By Suntan on 1/16/2009 9:07:01 PM , Rating: 2
Well, the government does regulate the radio frequencies and stipulate which channels can broadcast on which frequency, so don't pretend like they are completely hands off on the matter.

Still, it smacks of ill thought out "tampering for the purpose of showing that I am going to hit the ground running" on O's part. Last week I saw a broadcast note from one of the really regional stations that they were going off the air for three days this coming week to switch over all their equipment to digital (they obviously did not have the means to simultaneously broadcast their new digital and their existing analog prior to this. After they come back they would be braodcasting only digital.

Obviously stations around the land are in the middle of meanignful and costly changes and Obama is probably going to cause more confusion than he eliviates.

Lastly, (my traditional yardstick for measuring when new technology has reached full saturation) even my mother in law is aware of the transition. If she knows about it, everyone should.


RE: Gasp!!!
By freeagle on 1/18/2009 1:40:20 PM , Rating: 2
It is not the Government's responsibility to ensure that citizens take action to ensure they continue to able to watch it.

so why is it the government's responsibility to make sure it keeps working

No, it's not the government's responsibility. But it's in their best interest so that people do have access to TV broadcasting. Why? Because TV can and do have big influence on the opinions of many (and I'd wager even majority) of people. If TV marketing can make you buy some product, than it sure can be used to make you agree with and support government's decisions.

By bbomb on 1/16/2009 3:39:32 PM , Rating: 1
Supposedly one of Obamas advisers would benefit financially if the switch is delayed hence Obamas call for a delay.

RE: .
By Lord 666 on 1/16/09, Rating: 0
RE: .
By invidious on 1/16/2009 4:07:02 PM , Rating: 2
There is nothing liberal about tech news, so don't act like this is your hideout for democrats. Furthermore don't lash out at political satire when someone is clearly baiting you into doing just that, you just make all your comrads look bad.


There is no reason a TV tuner should be $40 other than profit margin. And there is your reason why someone would benifit from delaying the switch. More coupons handed out means more people spending $40 of taxpayer money on a $5 piece of hardware padding the pockets of a lobbyist. And there is nothing democratic or republican about it, its beauracracy at its finest.

RE: .
By tastyratz on 1/16/2009 4:42:26 PM , Rating: 2
Actually what goes into a dtv tuner? I would imagine at the least it needs to be something capable of decoding mpeg 4. do they all do HD signals as well?

That means it has to at least have a moderate amount of power onboard... or am I missing something?

RE: .
By Spivonious on 1/16/2009 4:51:26 PM , Rating: 2
No, they don't do HD. The ones I've seen don't even have better connections than RCA plugs.

All they do is convert the digital picture back into an analog picture so your TV's analog tuner can read it. I bet they cost about $5 each to make and ship to the stores.

RE: .
By Suntan on 1/16/2009 9:24:19 PM , Rating: 2
JHC, if you guys are going to complain, at least get brain one about the subject first.

All CECB are required to convert all ATSC compliant MPEG2 formats. There is no MPEG4 in the ATSC specs.

Further, once decoded the braodcast signal needs to be downsampled and converted into an analog NTSC complaint signal. Finally, they need to be able to modulate the signal so that it can be "tuned" into ala ch3 or ch4 setups.

Lastly, CECB are not allowed to output component signals (or HDMI), they must have composite and RF, it is optional if they have Svid.


RE: .
By kfonda on 1/16/2009 5:46:30 PM , Rating: 3
Take a look at this article if you're actually interested in what's really going on. I hope no one really expects Obama to be any different than any other politician.

RE: .
By hyperorc on 1/16/2009 5:57:00 PM , Rating: 3
Ok crazy McCain lady.

Don't know how you found DT, but you have any more great theories? Can you explain how someone would financially benefit?

This is easy to explain. Cisco would benefit by being able to pitch its wireless infrastructure to Verizon and AT&T.

Verizon and AT&T paid 100s of billions for the broadcast rights over the analog air waves. They have a case to sue the FCC (we the tax payers ultimately) for not delivering on the contractual time for delivery of these broadcast rights.

So Cisco (Obama's budies) get the contracts to deliver technology; Verizon and AT&T get money from law suits. And I, the middle class tax payer, get the short end of the stick.

Good for big business, not good for "work hard for the money".

RE: .
By Lord 666 on 1/16/2009 6:49:46 PM , Rating: 2
Other than Warrior potentially being the nation's first CTO, where is the political connection between Cisco and Obama?

In my opinion, she (Warrior) does not have strong enough positive legacy for the new position due to her position prior to Cisco and her "short" term at Cisco.

RE: .
By hyperorc on 1/16/2009 8:55:26 PM , Rating: 2
Your main question was to explain how there could possible be a financial incentive to delay the roll out of DTV. That has now been established.

Whether or not there is a strong connection between Obama and Cisco is immaterial to whether there is financial incentive for delays.

However, just the very nature of the creation of a CTO position and Warrior being a potential candidate means there is a connection to Obama. He didn't just spin the roulette wheel and decide that red 30 means Warrior from Cisco...

RE: .
By kfonda on 1/16/2009 11:50:00 PM , Rating: 2
Here is a quote from the article I posted a link to above.

Among those with a vested interest in the debate over a DTV delay is Clearwire, which has been racing to deploy its 4G WiMAX networks ahead of competitors wedded to the LTE standard. And Ars has learned that Clearwire Executive Vice President R. Gerard Salemme has quietly joined the Obama transition team as a key advisor on DTV issues.

There is at the very least the appearance of a conflict of interest here.

RE: .
By Lord 666 on 1/17/2009 12:18:44 PM , Rating: 2
Thank you for posting that because that connection makes way more sense.

He already won...
By Lord 666 on 1/16/2009 3:35:14 PM , Rating: 2
Why focus on the 100,000 or so people without DTV boxes when there is a good chance they have a cable modem to watch his weekly webcasts

My father fits this population; doesn't have cable TV but has cable modem.

Just pull the switch and smoke them out!

RE: He already won...
By cmdrdredd on 1/16/2009 4:16:33 PM , Rating: 1
Why focus on the 100,000 or so people without DTV boxes when there is a good chance they have a cable modem to watch his weekly webcasts My father fits this population; doesn't have cable TV but has cable modem. Just pull the switch and smoke them out!

I have seen people complain about DTV switch. They can't afford cable or satellite and feel a $50 box is expensive. Those same people have a home PC and have a high speed internet connection. One lady on a local radio show pays $60/month for Cable internet but feels $15.95/month is too much to spend on the cable TV programming (no converter box needed). What the hell us that? If you can't afford $15.95/month for TV or a one time fee of $40-$60 then you cannot afford $60/month on your internet. There is no if, ands, or buts about that.

RE: He already won...
By TomZ on 1/16/2009 4:24:45 PM , Rating: 2
$15.95/month is too much to spend on the cable TV programming
LOL, where can you get cable TV for that price? I'll bet most Americans are paying North of $50 a month for cable TV.

Also, I'd gladly pay more for my Internet per month compared to cable TV. Internet adds a lot more value than cable for me at least.

RE: He already won...
By Spivonious on 1/16/2009 4:28:25 PM , Rating: 2
I get the basic package for that much. It's like 25 channels, but it's all I ever watch.

Plus if I didn't get it, my internet bill would go up $15.

Go Comcast.

RE: He already won...
By b534202 on 1/16/2009 6:39:30 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, crazy Comcast and their pricing. I would pay the same for my internet connection with or without basic cable.

RE: He already won...
By cmdrdredd on 1/16/2009 7:10:19 PM , Rating: 2
I get the basic package for that much. It's like 25 channels, but it's all I ever watch. Plus if I didn't get it, my internet bill would go up $15. Go Comcast.


The basic cable is the same as what you will get with the converter box. Rate me down because you're too ignorant to understand that. Plus if you pay for cable, even basic cable, you get TBS, TNT, USA, CNN and a few others. It's only $50 if you want extras like disney, cartoon network, military channel, espn, speed tv etc

Additional funding
By BAFrayd on 1/16/2009 4:12:59 PM , Rating: 2

Losing their TV signal would be the best possible thing for many Americans, as it would disconnect them from the "hive-mind" and spur people to begin thinking for themselves, as individuals.
Obama simply wants additional funding to insure an uninterrupted government propaganda and brainwashing process. Something Obama has greatly benefited from.

RE: Additional funding
By Motoman on 1/16/2009 4:17:37 PM , Rating: 2 know, I think you're right. You'd better unplug your internet connection so that your can disconnect from the hive-mind and start thinking for yourself.

RE: Additional funding
By cmdrdredd on 1/16/2009 4:18:14 PM , Rating: 2
They mention elderly people having problems with the DTV switch. My grandmother, 84 years old, just purchased a brand new 50" 1080p Plasma because she had a TV that couldn't pull OVA digital.

RE: Additional funding
By Plague421 on 1/17/2009 7:21:51 AM , Rating: 2
I think the salesman had more to do with that decision.

I say use the squeal test.
By PAPutzback on 1/16/2009 3:47:07 PM , Rating: 2
Have one station in each market broadcast a message 24/7. "Analog service is gone, go to one of these following stores and pick up your digital converter box"

Then do away with the stupid coupon BS. They should ofsaved all that money and just had people sign a form when they picked up their box. Then the stored could of just turned that in and collected the money.

Or even easier\smarter. Have the manufactures send a copy of their shipping manifest and a request for the rebates on the amount shipped. This would have save processing on the store end also. But typical government programs request each process to be made as de-streamlined and spend as much money as possible.

RE: I say use the squeal test.
By Denithor on 1/16/2009 3:51:44 PM , Rating: 3
But that would make sense, and we're talking about the government here...

RE: I say use the squeal test.
By MozeeToby on 1/16/2009 4:21:47 PM , Rating: 2
They didn't do this because they wanted to give each home 2 converter boxes at $40 off. Having the store or manufacturer take care of it would result in allowing each home as many boxes as they wanted, resulting in much higher costs (though maybe not as high as the administration costs for the coupon program, I don't know).

I can just imagine...
By Haven0 on 1/16/2009 3:57:50 PM , Rating: 2
... some family out in the boonies suddenly has their TV signal cut off and they take it as a sign of nuclear war or something.

RE: I can just imagine...
By Byte on 1/16/2009 5:27:42 PM , Rating: 2
Obama is too late. They switched over yesterday here in homestate Hawaii. Now portable TVs receive nothing. Idiots.

RE: I can just imagine...
By cmdrdredd on 1/16/2009 7:37:57 PM , Rating: 1
Obama is too late. They switched over yesterday here in homestate Hawaii. Now portable TVs receive nothing. Idiots.

Good...use a fucking radio for emergency situations.

RE: I can just imagine...
By Alareth on 1/16/2009 9:59:04 PM , Rating: 2
Well, believe it or not, they actually make portable TV's with digital tuners in them.

There is even a company that makes a battery operated portable digital converter box.

Like Kevin Martin
By tallguywithglasseson on 1/16/2009 4:17:57 PM , Rating: 2
I'm concerned about a delay in the sense that if you can solve that issue other ways, a delay has actually the potential to confuse consumers.

RE: Like Kevin Martin
By tallguywithglasseson on 1/16/2009 4:18:23 PM , Rating: 2
I'm concerned about a delay in the sense that if you can solve that issue other ways, a delay has actually the potential to confuse consumers.

RE: Like Kevin Martin
By cmdrdredd on 1/16/2009 7:17:07 PM , Rating: 1
I'm concerned about a delay in the sense that if you can solve that issue other ways, a delay has actually the potential to confuse consumers.

Yes, it has that potential. To me it's sort of like someone buying a car that runs on gas, 10 years later the government says "on the following date we will no longer allow gasoline sales, and all cars need to be fitted with an electric motor and battery system. We will be providing coupons if you call the number or go on the website" People wait cause they don't wanna buy stuff. Then the money runs out and some joker comes along and says "hey man, I want my coupon so my truck will work!" and the government is out of the allotted funds. Then the government says "we are going to postpone the switch until the following date because it has been determined that the market is not ready for the change right now." So people STILL procrastinate and don't get their vehicle switched to electric. Then the date comes long and people say "well I thought this switch was cancelled. what happened?"

There will ALWAYS be someone who is just ignorant of the facts or just too lazy to do what they need to do beforehand. Even 5 years from now someone will bitch that their TV broke one day and they had to buy a new TV (due to the fact that they weren't well informed and did not do any homework on the issue).

By tastyratz on 1/16/2009 3:59:29 PM , Rating: 2
the DTV switch cannot possibly take place on February 17 as planned because, "The government's programs to assist consumers through the upheaval of the conversion are Grossly overfunded ."


While we may all argue whether or not a coupon to assist consumers with the dtv rollout is needed in this thread- the fact that the government offers TWO coupons was a piss poor decision from day 1. People can argue the television is a vital source for media in some households, but nobody can argue that households require a government subsidized second television to receive communications.

The only thing offering 2 coupons does is assist the public with flooding ebay with more receivers because they either A: need 1, and get 2 or B: need none and get greedy.

Anyone with me?

RE: fixed
By tastyratz on 1/16/2009 4:08:10 PM , Rating: 2
I just wanted to add onto this something I forgot to add.
Much of this coupon abuse could have been avoided if they offered the $40 as a tax incentive at the end of the year when you filed, instead of actual store coupons. I believe this would cut down on resale and abuse significantly.

Ulterior motives?
By mattclary on 1/17/2009 11:29:03 AM , Rating: 3
A good article on the subject at Ars. Seems there may be a serious conflict of interest going on.

this is sad
By Guttersnipe on 1/17/2009 12:16:03 AM , Rating: 2
i'm sure it costs money to double broadcast analog and digital, never mind everyone else who was prepared to switch over in feb. he's punishing those who didn't procrastinate for people who are so oblivious that they somehow missed the massive onslaught of dtv information that was everywhere. seriously obama...the people who voted for you..aren't that freakin stupid.

By Josh7289 on 1/17/2009 2:18:02 AM , Rating: 2
People should have just applied for the coupons earlier.

Now look at the mess we're (maybe) in.

By crystal clear on 1/17/2009 2:42:54 AM , Rating: 2
Democrats seek billions for IT, Internet

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday proposed a combined $26 billion to promote high-speed Internet in underserved areas and for expansion of efforts to computerize health records.

It also proposed $650 million to continue the digital television (DTV) coupon program for the transition to DTV, according to a summary of the economic stimulus legislation released by Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee.

The draft bill calls for $6 billion in grants for wireless and broadband in rural and hard-to-serve areas, and $20 billion to boost computerization of health records aimed at cutting costs and medical errors.

Telecommunications, information technology and other companies are watching the debate in Congress over a $825 billion economic stimulus plan, which Democrats unveiled on Thursday.

Several analysts said telecommunications equipment makers may have the most to gain, citing Adtran, Alcatel Lucent Cisco Systems, among others.

The Senate is working on its own version of a package.

The public interest group Free Press, which had suggested a $44 billion in broadband investment called for strict accountability in how the money is spent.

"Broadband as economic recovery should be "build-out" not bail-out," said Derek Turner, research director at the group.

Stop wining
By lazylazyjoe on 1/17/2009 3:23:15 AM , Rating: 2
The cost for limited-basic from the cable company, which is mostly the ota channels, costs $10 a month. That's it. If you are so hard up to spend that or if you can't afford a 1 time fee of $50 a tv for your converter, then I imagine that tv is the least of your worries. And if you were truly concerned, you would have ordered the coupons sometime in the last year they've been available. People, we've known about this change since 1999. They're not eliminating free OTA, just changing how it's transmitted. Free lifetime NTSC was never implied by the gov't. If you haven't prepared by now, an extra few months, or even years isn't going to make a difference. Also, you have to figure that at least 10 - 15 % of coupons won't be redeemed. I'm sure they could over allocate with no repurcussions. Get over it. Legislation costs money! There are so many more important matters for congress to deal with.

They're not out of coupons
By bkslopper on 1/17/2009 5:11:28 AM , Rating: 2
It's just that they're on ebay, lol.

Here is the problem...
By euromade on 1/18/2009 4:58:47 PM , Rating: 2
Here is the problem with our society:

We cater, and appears we are obligated by law, to the least contributing members of the society, in return slowing the whole population down.

If you have not heard the digital TV conversion can't happen as scheduled, because those lazy bums did not get off their couch early enough to OBTAIN A FREE CONVERSION BOX. However they had enough time to get a hold of "bleeding heart" politicians and mandate a 3+ month politically correct extension.

Schools nowadays are "dumbing" smart kids as the whole classroom "moves" as fast as the dumbest/laziest student's pace. Teachers hands are tied, so they just do enough to keep their jobs and collect pensions.

Nonproductive workers can't get fired as there might be a harassment lawsuit brought against the company. Therefore hard working people must work even harder in order for a company to survive. Companies can't reward hard working people as extra money is being spent on diversity in the workplace training, sexual harassment awareness programs, etc.

But everyone wants FREE MEDICAL, FREE SCHOOLING, and the list goes on.

This country is done, unfortunately and here is why:
Productive population is shrinking; Not making kids fast enough to ensure sustainable growth of this culture.
At the same time, minorities are reproducing above their socio-economical sustainability rate. So, in the next few decades this equilibrium will come to a halt.

Those pulling the sleds were too busy pulling, and unable to bring new helping hands on board. At the same time those being pulled had enough time to enjoy the free ride and mass-replicate. Unfortunately they did not bother to learn to pull their own sleds, and why would they sweat after all!
So, the sleds will stop as those pulling them will die, and those being pulled will die too as they did not bother to learn to pull their own sleds.


DTV coupon program
By vibrolax on 1/18/2009 6:11:34 PM , Rating: 2
The real purpose of the coupon program was to get consumers into the stores so that salespeople could attempt to upsell them a new large screen LCD/plasma/DLP DTV. Opportunities like this don't come along very often, and the consumer electronics industry wasn't going to waste it.

"This is from the It's a science website." -- Rush Limbaugh

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