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US Senate backs digital TV transition plan

 
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chandu



Joined: 17 Oct 2005
Posts: 814

PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2005 1:30 am    Post subject: US Senate backs digital TV transition plan Reply with quote

The US Senate approved legislation Wednesday that would complete the country's transition to new, higher-quality digital television by Feb. 17, 2009.

Up to $1.5 billion would be available to help some consumers buy converter boxes so existing analog televisions do not go dark when broadcasters air only digital signals.

The digital television measure was part of a bill aimed at cutting government spending over five years which narrowly cleared the Senate after Vice President d*** Cheney, in his role as president of the Senate, voted for the cuts and broke a 50-50 tie.

The House backed the measure Monday but it must go back to the House because of other changes to the bill before being sent to President Bush for signature into law.

But that may not happen this year. A House spokeswoman said the chamber currently had no plans to bring members back to Washington before late January.

Current law requires stations to switch to airing only digital broadcasts when 85 percent of the country can receive the new signals, or by Dec. 31, 2006, whichever comes later. Experts have said that could take a long time, prompting lawmakers to seek a more certain date.
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