Television: January 2009 Archives

Televison: Newsmakers Jan. 6, 2009



TV Week:

In a new challenge to the digital TV transition, the government's program offering $40 coupons for TV converter boxes is out of money, weeks sooner than anyone expected. The Department of Commerce today announced that it has committed the entire $1.34 billion available for the coupons and is starting to put new requests on a waiting list. It was just two weeks ago that Meredith Atwell Baker, acting assistant secretary of the Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration, warned U.S. Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee's telecom panel, that the $1.5 billion set aside for the coupon program might run short of requests. That wasn't expected to happen immediately. A blitz of media stories over the Christmas holidays, however, brought in a flood of requests. Ms. Atwell Baker had warned Mr. Markey that although a third or more of coupons haven't been redeemed, the way the program is structured could force it to delay sending out new coupons. The government sets aside money for any coupons issued during the 90 days they can be redeemed; Ms. Atwell Baker's worry was that the agency might have to temporarily stop issuing new coupons. At a news conference this afternoon, Ms. Atwell Baker suggested the coupon program was a victim of its own success. She cited a "massive spike" in December that brought requests for 7.2 million coupons rather than for the 4.3 million that NTIA expected... Digital TV Coupon Program Runs Out of Money (Mon, 1/5)


Television: Newsmakers Jan. 10, 2009



Michigan Association of Broadcasters offers updates on DTV transition

As of January 6, 2,038,940 converter box coupons have been requested in Michigan. 871,810 coupons have been redeemed in the state, a 42.75% redemption rate.

DTV Town Hall Meeting to Feature FCC Commissioner: Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner Michael Copps along with Congressman John Conyers (D-15th) will be on hand at a Town Hall meeting to be held at Wayne County Community College's downtown campus at 1001 W. Fort St on Monday January 12th at 11:00 AM.

The Michigan Association of Broadcasters and local television stations will co-host the event. The meeting is free to the public and will include a demonstration on how to hook up a converter box. Local television engineers will be available to answer individual questions pertaining to their stations.

The purpose of the Town Hall meeting is to help Metro area citizens learn important information about preparedness for the digital transition.

This is your chance to ask questions of the very people who are in charge of the digital transition. Don't miss this opportunity. Click here for a map.

For more information on the DTV Town Hall Meeting or to ask questions about the digital transition, call the Michigan DTV Helpline, sponsored by Don-Lors Electronics at 888-643-8809.



Broadcasting & Cable:

The waiting list for converter box coupons continues to grow, and the prospects for clearing out the backlog without swift congressional action appear slim to none. According to the latest figures from the National Telecommunications & Information Administration, there are more than 1.35 million requests for DTV-to-analog converter-box coupons on its waiting list, with hundreds of thousands more coming in every day. NTIA began the waiting list last Sunday, when it hit its $1.34 billion ceiling on funding for the program, which issues $40 coupons toward the purchase of DTV-to-analog converter boxes that allow viewers of over-the-air analog TV signals to continue to receive a picture after those signals go digital on Feb. 17--or not, depending on current efforts to delay that date. According to NTIA spokesman Todd Sedmak, 325,000 people on that list have been sent their coupons, which happens after a new batch of coupons expires and the money is freed up... Waiting List For DTV Coupons Continues To Grow (Fri, 1/9)



Detroit Free Press:

We're now just over a month out from the big transition to all digital TV broadcasts. If President-elect Barack Obama can't persuade Congress to delay the Feb. 17 start date, as many as 100,000 Detroit-area consumers may find themselves unable to watch television on their old sets. Obama asked Congress on Thursday to postpone the analog-to-digital shift, arguing that too many Americans still aren't ready for it. Congress set the date, so it would have to pass a new law to delay it. Delay or not, it's hard to conceive that people haven't received the message yet, what with nonstop TV announcements, weekly tests that show whether your television is ready for the DTV transition and more than a year of news reports and announcements... Digital TV move may leave many in dark (Sat, 1/10)



Grand Rapids Press:

Dave Miller, 84, knew better than to bother with the coupon. With the conversion from analog to digital TV broadcasts looming, the Lowell man took his son's advice and upgraded to a digital-ready TV and a 50-channel cable package. "Sons have a way of seeing that the old people get what they need," Miller said Friday while relaxing at the Lowell Senior Center. "I'm not really sharp on this stuff." He is not alone, and the government may act to make sure everyone is prepared. President-elect Barack Obama is urging Congress to postpone the Feb. 17 switch from analog to digital television broadcasting, arguing too many Americans who rely on analog TV sets to pick up over-the-air channels will not be ready... Lawmakers consider delaying digital TV transition after coupons for converter boxes run out (Sat, 1/10)



Jackson Citizen-Patriot:

With AT&T's cable-television service now available in the area, an expert suggests consumers do their homework before choosing service providers. "Consumers have to become much more educated and really make a careful choice," said Johannes Bauer, a professor of telecommunications, information studies and media at Michigan State University... Cable competition means consumers must look at all their options (Sat, 1/10)


Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Jan. 18, 2009



Bay City Times:

Television repairman Robert "Alan" Anderson hears his telephone ringing a lot these days. Folks want to know if their TV sets will work when broadcasters switch to an all-digital format on Feb. 17, said Anderson, owner of Alan's Repair, 1304 Kosciuszko Ave. "People are asking the obvious question - 'Is my TV ready and how do I get one of those (converter) boxes?'" Anderson said. Here's the short answer: • People with cable television service are OK. • People with satellite television service are OK, if they get their local channels from the satellite service. • People who use an antenna or set-top "rabbit ears" to receive local TV stations must buy a digital converter box... Read on to make sure you're set for digital TV conversion (Sun, 1/18)


Television: Newsmakers Jan. 25, 2009



Detroit News:

Michigan environmentalists, electronic waste haulers and recyclers are fearing an e-waste explosion. Up to 1 million TV sets -- toxic chemicals and all -- could be headed for Michigan landfills as consumers ramp up TV purchases before the nation's television stations are scheduled to convert to digital transmission Feb. 17. A delay is possible. The U.S. Senate appeared close to agreement late Thursday on a bill to delay the planned transition to June 12 -- setting the stage for a vote early next week. President Barack Obama earlier this month called for postponement. While many TV owners will keep their analog sets and use a converter box to capture the digital signal, others are using the switchover as an excuse to dump their old sets and upgrade to plasma screen or high definition sets with a digital converter inside. With each U.S. household having an average of 2.8 sets, according to 2007 U.S. census data, there is tremendous potential for an avalanche of TV trash... Trashing the tube: Digital conversion may spark glut of toxic waste (Fri, 1/23)



Kalamazoo Gazette:

The switch to digital television signaling could create an environmental nightmare across the nation as consumers get rid of their outmoded analog TV sets. But that doesn't have to be the case locally, where area residents can recycle their electronics for free. "It's easy and convenient, and we want to let people know that we're tuned in to them," said Tom Dewhirst, facility manager for Kalamazoo County Household Hazardous Waste. The organization collects electronics at least three times a week at its Lamont Avenue location in Kalamazoo. Residents may recycle up to four electronic items -- including stereos, monitors, DVDs and televisions -- a year for free. Televisions are considered two items, and console televisions are only taken if the consoles have been removed. Small electronics, however, such as cell phones, don't count toward the four free items... Recyclers ready for tons of TVs after switch to digital (Sun, 1/25)



Traverse City Record-Eagle:

Don Reed wheeled into the parking lot at the Kalkaska County Recycling Center to drop off a cardboard box that once held his new television. Reed wanted an upgraded TV and gave his old set to a friend. If he hadn't, he would have recycled it, he said. "It's better than throwing it out in the woods like some people do. It's not useful to take them to the dump," said Reed, of Kalkaska. Most electronics contain hazardous materials -- lead, mercury, cadmium, chromium, fire retardants -- and recycling centers across the region are primed to take old TV sets in preparation for next month's digital switch... Recycling centers ready for TV transition (Fri, 1/23)







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This page is a archive of entries in the Television category from January 2009.

Television: February 2009 is the next archive.

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