|Feds May Move HDTV Mandate to 2009
October 07, 2005
Washington, DC - Reuters News Service reported that U.S. Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Ted Stevens said he would support legislation moving the HDTV mandate to January 1, 2009. This is the same date as in draft legislation in the House of Representives.
The current law requiring television stations and equipment manufacturers to transition to HDTV, is set for December 31, 2006 or when 85% of the US television viewing audience can receive digital, whichever is later.
The report said that some experts believe that three more Christmas buying seasons will be needed to reach that 85% penetration of HDTV. Once the conversion to digital is complete, the US government plans to sell the analog frequencies in an auction that could generate billions of dollars.
Stevens and other members of congress want to reserve some of that money to offset costs of set-top converter boxes that will be needed by viewers who do not purchase HDTV sets.
Stevens said his committee would consider on October 19 a bill to set the date.
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