Television

US television to turn all-digital by 2009 February

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MUMBAI: The US House of Representatives on Monday approved a legislation to complete the transition to all-digital television broadcasts by 17 February, 2009.

As per the legislation, a budget of about $1.5 billion will be allocated to help consumers with older, analogue TV sets purchase converter boxes so they would continue to get service in the digital era.

This also marked the end of a clash between the Senate and the House over the deadline issue. Cable and satellite customers would not be affected by the switch to digital.

The House wanted an early deadline and initially proposed ending analogue transmissions by 31 December, 2008. However, the Senate didn't bulge and rooted for 7 April, 2009. The Senate had also proposed a much bigger converter box subsidy of $3 billion.

The present timeline and the re-worked budget are results of the compromise between the House and Senate legislation.

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