By Steve Macek and Scott Sanders

The much-delayed switchover to digital TV is now behind us. On June 12, all full power TV stations in the country ceased their analog broadcasts and made the final switch to a digital only format.

In the lead up to the DTV transition, the public's attention focused almost entirely upon ways of mitigating the switchover's effect on the elderly, the poor and non-English speakers who rely on over-the-air television far more than the general population. In response to such concerns, the federal government created a coupon program that subsidized most of the cost of digital-to-analog converter boxes, but then failed to fully fund it. When it became clear that millions of households would not be ready for DTV by the original February 17 deadline, Congress pushed back the transition date.

The extra time -- together with an additional $650 million appropriated by Congress for more converter boxes and more public outreach -- seems to have done the trick. Though some viewers have reported losing the signals of individual stations in certain markets, the vast majority of Americans weathered the shift to DTV without losing service or being excessively inconvenienced.

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1 comments:

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