Should the DTV transition be delayed?

The DTV transition is still up in the air, and CNET asks its readers if they think the DTV transition should be delayed. Take our poll.

News.com Poll

DTV decisions
Should the DTV transition be delayed?

Yes: We need at least four more months to properly prepare.
No: The original Feb. 17 deadline offered more than enough time; delays will only add to confusion.



View results

UPDATE (February 4, 2009): Both houses of Congress have now passed identical versions of a revised DTV bill that President Obama is expected to sign into law. However, it appears that the law will still allow analog stations to shut down starting February 17. See CNET News for more information.

The future of the DTV transition is still uncertain, and Wednesday the House of Representatives is set to vote on the latest bill to delay the transition from February 17 to June 12.

That sounds simple enough, but the reality is still pretty muddled. For one, the delay is still voluntary, which means it's possible that TV stations will turn off analog signals anytime between February 17 and June 12. (Some representatives dispute how voluntary the delay actually is.) Early switchovers seem likely if it's true that just running the analog transmitters will cost stations tens of thousands of dollars.

Probably the biggest reason for the delay is that the government-subsidized DTV coupon program is essentially out of money, so anyone without a coupon (or with an expired coupon) will have to shell out their own money if they don't already have a converter box. While the new DTV bill will end the expiration dates on DTV coupons, funding for that bill is dependent on the economic stimulus program passing--another uncertainty. If the DTV delay passes, but the stimulus program doesn't, it's unclear if new coupons will issued.

With all those issues in mind, we put the question to you: should the DTV transition be delayed?

Be sure to vote in the poll and discuss the details in the comments section below.

Related content:
CNET's quick guide to the DTV transition
Which DTV converter box should I buy?

 

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