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Congress Delays Digital TV, Or Does It?

Still getting your televison over the air and haven’t yet got your converter box?    Congress is claiming to have done you a favor, MSNBC [1]:

The house voted Wednesday to delay the transition to digital T.V. The nationwide switch that had been scheduled to happen February 17th, is now set for this summer. The bill was passed because of concerns that millions of people are still unprepared. With that vote, the house passed a bill to postpone the historical conversion from analog to digital T.V. Local T.V. stations will now be allowed to keep their analog transmitters plugged in until June 12th, four months later than originally scheduled for them to switch to digital. The delay gives people more time to buy digital converters for their older T.V sets

How much of a favor did Congress do for you?  Less than meets the rabbit ears.   The bill allows televion station to continue to broadcast analog signals until June 12th, does not not mandate that station do so, Pekin Daily Times [2]:

PEKIN – Both houses of Congress have passed a bill delaying the digital television transition from Feb. 17 to June 12, but some stations – including local affiliates – are planning to stick with the original date

[…]

According to figures from the FCC, 276 stations across the country were planning to shut off their analog signals on the original date, Tomczyk said. An additional 143 stations have already made the switch, he said, and 60 others plan to do so before Feb. 17

Running a televison transmitter uses a huge amount of  electrical power.   Running two transmtters uses even more..   Dropping analog requires less electrical power and saves a lot on money, and by the way is greener.  That’ll make Algore happy.