Digital deadline delay puts Colorado stations on spot
DENVER, Colorado ” The delay in the nationwide switch to digital television is forcing Denver, Colorado stations to make a quick decision on whether to shut off their analog signal this month as originally scheduled.
While most broadcasters said Thursday they plan to wait until the new date ” June 12, if President Barack Obama signs the legislation ” not all have made up their mind and some expressed unhappiness about the delay.
“If it was up to me I would shut (the analog signal) off right now,” said Jay Rademacher, chief engineer for KJCT-TV in Grand Junction. But he said that in all likelihood the station would wait until June.
“I’m not happy with it. I think this is just going to confuse people so much more than they are now. They’ve had plenty of time, already. I think this will make them even more complacent because they’ll go ‘Well, they delayed it now so maybe they’ll delay it again.”
The House voted 264-158 on Wednesday to postpone the shutdown of analog TV signals to June 12. The Senate passed the measure unanimously last week and the bill now heads to Obama for his signature.
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Lawmakers are concerned that too many people aren’t prepared for the switch. However, Congress left stations the option to make the switch on Feb. 17, the original date.
Some stations around the country have said it’s too expensive to broadcast in both digital and analog for another four months.
Rocky Mountain PBS, which distributes public broadcasting from four stations in Denver, Grand Junction, Pueblo and Durango, said on its Web site it won’t make the switch in February and that it is “working with the other Colorado broadcasters to agree on a date on which all of us will make the transition to minimize confusion.”
Mark Cornetta, president and general manager of KUSA-TV in Denver, said his station expects to make a decision by Friday.