UPDATE: After an earlier delay the House has voted to approve the delay until June 12th. However broadcasters will still be able to cut things off after February 17th, they simply moved the deadline to June. As a practical matter I doubt any station will cut off analog signals early because they would potentially lose viewers.
It looks like the big change to digital television may not be happening as fast as we thought. The Senate has tonight passed a bill to delay the change from February to June. The House is expected to follow suit and the President has indicated he would support the bill.
I’m not sure how I feel about the proposal. On the one hand it certainly doesn’t cost me anything for them to delay, although it does appear it will cost the televison stations something for the delay (PBS alone says they would lose more than $ 20 million in the delay).
I also understand that there have been some problems in the transition and that some people have not been able to get their coupons for the purchase of the convertor boxes. So overall I think I am ok with the delay.
But at the same time this does seem like a symptom of our ‘nobody is to blame’ society. People have known, or should have known, about the transition for over a year and yet we still see people on the news acting surprised that a change is taking place.
Again I am fine with having the delay but I also wonder about the people who didn’t seem to know anything was happening.