US Senate approves analogue switch-off delay

The US Senate has approved a four-month delay in the national terrestrial analogue switch-off, or the “DTV transition” as Americans call it. The measure is intended to give consumers more time to prepare for the switch-off. The House of Representatives still has to approve the bill.

All US broadcasters are scheduled to stop analogue transmission on February 17th. President Obama earlier this month called for postponing the switch-off, citing evidence that many viewers are not ready. Research from Nielsen Co. last week said that more than 6.5 million households are not prepared.

In order to help consumers with the switch-over, the government had issued $40 vouchers towards the purchase of a digital receiver. However, the funds have have dried up and more money is needed to help remaining customers.