By a vote of 264-158, the House on Wednesday joined the Senate in passing a bill that will delay the national transition to digital television until June. President Obama has indicated he will sign the legislation. It will primarily affect those who receive their television signals over the air and who have not yet purchased analog-to-digital converter boxes. Nielsen released a new estimate today (Thursday) indicating that they now number 5.8 million households (5.1 percent of homes), with the Albuquerque-Santa Fe market the least prepared for the transition -- with 12 percent of the homes completely unprepared for the transition. The new legislation does not provide funding for additional vouchers that will cover most of the cost of the converters, but $650 million is included in the stimulus package to do so. However, Congressman Rick Boucher of Virginia, the chairman of the House Subcommittee on Communication, Technology and the Internet, said Wednesday that several weeks were likely to pass before the funds became available.

05/02/2009