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Senate to postpone action on digital TV bill

Commerce Committee likely won't move toward setting a hard deadline for a national transition until late October.

The Senate Commerce Committee likely won't move toward passing legislation that sets a hard deadline for a national transition to digital television until late October, a committee spokesperson said Wednesday. Originally, such legislation would have to be passed by this Friday in order to coincide with action taken by the Senate Budget Committee, but that committee is postponing its action until Oct. 25 because of Hurricane Katrina's messy aftermath.

Senators have , by which all American television sets and devices would have to be capable of receiving digital broadcasts. They have said they would allocate some of the freed-up analog spectrum to emergency communications and auction the rest for use by broadband services.