Digital TV Transition

Barack Obama might have just bought more time for analog-TV owners who were facing the digital-TV transition without a converter box.

The president-elect asked Congress on Thursday to push back the Feb. 17 transition date, Broadcasting & Cable reports. In a letter, Obama's transition team co-chair John Podesta pointed to "inadequate funding" of the government's DTV education programs and issues with the converter-coupon program, asking Congressional leadership to "consider a change to the legislatively mandated cut-off date."

The Feb. 17 cut-off was initially set in 2005, by the outgoing administration.

As previously reported, the conversion coupon program, designed to help citizens purchase converter boxes, is already out of cash. Podesta asserts that as the deadline draws closer, the number of people left without coupons could reach five million. Further, he insists that low income, rural and elderly Americans will have the most trouble making the transition without adequate governmental support.

In his letter, Podesta said that funds from Obama's economic recovery package could help fill in the financial gaps in the conversion program.

The Consumers Union on Wednesday also called for a delay, suggesting that the transition be moved to mid-summer.

What's your take? Should the digital conversion be delayed, or go through as planned?