Obama Supports DTV Delay, Bill Passage Expected

ObamaA postponement for the changeover to all digital TV signals is looking up, now that the Senate approved a revised piece of legislation on the matter this week.

Coupled with an earlier House bill--and a House vote on the new Senate plan scheduled for next week--this means that a bill could hit President Obama's desk by next Friday. This round, the House will seek a majority versus two-thirds vote to secure passage. The new digital changeover date is June 12.

The Obama Administration has repeatedly said that millions of Americans will be left in the lurch if the Feb. 17 analog-to-digital date remains in place. It blamed poor planning on the Bush Administration.

Another setback: the coupon program for DTV converter boxes has run out of money. There are still about 2.6 million people on a waiting list for coupons.

Minority Republican Congress representatives say any delay is wasteful--that more government coupons for converter boxes would fix the problem quickly.

Unlike TV viewers, TV stations have been ready for the switch. Some 1,800 stations have been planning to make the move on Feb. 17, with about 300 making the changeover before then.



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