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Readers Pro and Con on DTV Delay

RE: Obama Asks Congress to Delay DTV Transition

[President-Elect Obama's transition team asked Congress to extend the Feb. 17 deadline for the DTV transition, citing problems with the DTV-to-analog converter box program and “inadequate funding” of DTV education programs. Online readers were quick to weigh in their opinions at our Website.]

It never made sense for stations in Northern states to do this in mid-winter. Many snowbound transmitters are hard to reach, much less make major changes to, and viewers are unwilling to climb snowy and icy roofs to add or improve an outdoor antenna and amplifier. Perhaps a better alternative is to have a rolling date, starting at the original date in the South and ending in midsummer at the Canadian border.

Sid Shumate Sr., on Jan. 8

This makes me want to vomit. It is TV! Get over it, deal with it, get a new one. Out of control. People are losing their houses and we are concerned about whether or not others can watch TV? Are you kidding me?

Melanie Henry, Orlando, Fla. on Jan. 9

What a joke. With all the time, money, and sheer effort that have been required to educate the public about February 17, it's unbelievable that anyone would even think about pushing it back.

Tony, on Jan. 8

In February convert some DMV's in each state into a DTV coupon location. Americans can't move to the Canadian timeline because we need to continue our 4G rollout for laptops and PDA's wireless broadband. In March a turn-key solution will be necessary for laggards. This would require a closer integration with retailers' supply chains and assignment of immediate sale to TV-less consumers.

“The Dave,” New York City, on Jan. 9

It would not be a good thing to postpone the transition. In my area most people are ready and can't wait for February 17. The other people are procrastinating and never will be ready.

Timothy Chamberlain, electrical installer, Colorado, on Jan. 8

This didn't just sneak up on everyone. People have had months to transition over and I can't turn on my TV without seeing one of those DTV commercials.

“Wilder 212” on Jan. 8

Common sense at last but a four-month delay isn't enough. The outreach grants just went out. The coupon program is backlogged. Stations need to install repeaters to maintain current coverage areas. If Congress gave citizens a tax credit for a new digital TV, converter box, or antenna, there would be no administrative costs of backlog for coupon fulfillment—a business the government never should have gotten into. The solution: delay analog shut-off to conform to the Canadian date of August 31, 2011, pass the DTV $100 tax credit, and do a post mortem.

Vic Livingston, columnist, on Jan. 8

It seems logical to suspend it until July or August. That gives Dish Network and DirecTV more time. Cable TV is already prepared but folks without service might not be. Those fixed-income folks must submit for an application to receive a free HD off-air unit. It might end up getting delayed to an even later date, until broadcasters have suitable broadcast areas.

Thomas Ingram, Bakersfield, Calif, on Jan. 8

This makes me so angry. I was responsible and got my coupons and converter, but instead of honoring those that did it on time, we are once again lowering the bar for those who wait until the last minute.

G.G., on Jan. 9

Just eliminate the lengthy one-month wait to get a coupon and keep the transition on schedule. We all have waited long enough. Make coupons available online or as soon as applied for.

George Kowal, broadcast engineer, New Jersey, on Jan. 8

To delay DTV transition mandate is very believable considering the mess that Congress and the administration have generated. It's also an example of an unbelievable lapse in wisdom. Most of the “Great Unwashed” will simply put off, for a period equal to the proposed time, those necessary personal steps required to make an in-house DTV transition. Perhaps funds should be transferred from the Obama stimulus package to buy free converters from an American firm.

DJ Paul, Mohawk, N.Y., on Jan. 8

This is the stupidest thing I've ever heard in my life. You would think people are being denied oxygen. Nobody in this country needs a TV set! In fact, we'd all be better off without them. Have you actually watched any TV lately? It's terrible!

Kate Avers, development director, Chicago, on Jan. 8