The Most Important Vote of the Session

Today the House blocked an extension of the implementation deadline for digital TV. The same bill passed the Senate in a unanimous vote. Here's some background. Eric Massa voted for the extension.

If this stands, the "Nays" on this list who are in any kind of a competitive district are in serious trouble.


Digital TV is a scam shoved down our throats by the cable and satellite companies and their allies in the Bush Jr. FCC.

A ham radio fan I know did the following experiment last summer in Seneca County, just across Seneca Lake from Yates County in the 29th:

He was able to receive Rochester, Syracuse, and Elmira analog TV signals using a dual mode analog/digital TV antenna. Using the same antenna, he was unable receive ANY digital signals broadcast from those same stations.

This problem with poor digital TV signal reception has been commented on elsewhere in the press.

If you live in the boonies and cannot receive the the digital stations you formerly received as analog, your only solution will be to PAY for cable or satellite TV.

Just what the Bush Jr. cronies wanted you to do.

As much of the 29th is remote from the transmitters, this will affect many in this district. So Eric was right in voting for the delay.

Concerning your comment on the nays, if they are in urban/suburban districts where strong signals exist, this will not matter to them. If they are in rural districts like ours, if may matter. But in my opinion, considering all the issues that will face this Congress, this one will be minor and will not be remembered in 2010.

I've heard that DTV reception is worse than analog -- your friend's experiment confirms that rumor.

I'm sure cable and satellite companies will get some more business because of DTV, but it had to happen sometime. Our current analog standard dates to the beginning of television.

Even if the suburban districts will have good signal, they still need the DTV boxes to get it. That's the reason for the delay -- the money for coupons for the DTV boxes ran out before the deadline so some people didn't get them.

One bright spot in this whole thing is that the FCC has approved white space broadband, which will allow wireless Internet access in the unused portions of the TV spectrum.