Well, lo and behold, we're here. And I'm not just chuckling, I'm laughing my head off.
I know comparatively nothing about the stimulus plan. I understand little about many political issues deemed important to so many of us. But, I've been actively involved in the development of DTV here in the U.S. for the last dozen years, so I feel a little bit qualified to comment.
When I made my earlier post on 28 January, there were a few possible outcomes...
- No delay of the DTV transition; having worked up to this for the last 22 years, sane heads would've realized that an extra four months would deliver little additional benefit
- A delay of the DTV transition, with some portion of the stations planning to switch off on 2/17 taking advantage of the option to do so; this was a delicate trade-off between alienating advertisers & consumers versus having to throw an additional four months of money down the drain by continuing to simulcast
- A delay of the DTV transition, with few or no stations turning off their analog transmissions prior to the revised deadline of 12 June
Thus, on 2/17, many consumers in smaller markets will lose their analog signals due to the flawed economics of the four-month DTV delay, a 180-degree outcome from what the government thought they were championing. That's right--smaller market consumers will lose the most over the next four months, due to cessation of analog broadcast and a totally hosed coupon program.
That's what our legislators wasted so much time and effort for? Seriously?
Yeesh. As I suggested in my earlier post, Congress could've fixed the coupon program with emergency funding a couple of weeks ago, looked like heroes to the affected masses, and generally delivered a solid outcome. Instead, we're going to end up with stories of folks whose TVs go dark on 2/17, blaming the government for not doing enough.
Methinks they did too much.