DTV Cliff Effect Assistance Act Introduced In Senate [Broadcasting and Cable]
We're less than a month away from the deadline for the nation's transition from analog broadcasting to digital. And at least two U.S. Senator are now focused on aiding homes that will continue watching over the air television from encountering the "cliff effect" of digital broadcasts. Simply put, the cliff effect is what happens when a home is out of range of a digital television signal. With analog broadcasts, the picture gradually becomes fuzzier but still watchable the further the TV is from the transmission tower. With digital broadcasts, the signal is all-or-nothing, and would likely be nothing for the home that received a slightly snowy version of the analog broadcast. Digital television signals are also more susceptible to degradation by surrounding landforms and buildings, meaning that a mountain might have more of a blocking effect on a digital signal than it has on the older analog transmission.
Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, both Maine Republicans, have introduced a piece of legislation entitled the DTV Cliff Effect Assistance Act, which would allocated $125 million for the construction of digital repeaters and translator towers to push digital broadcast signals further out to homes in more rural and isolated areas. The bill would also double as a broadband stimulus bill for wireless Internet providers because the senators stipulate that the towers be made available for that purpose as well.
The legislation would not impact next month's DTV deadline, regardless of whether it is passed within the next thirty days. Remember, if you're one of those who remain unprepared for the digital transition, give us a call. Insight already has worked with thousands of customers to make sure all of their televisions are ready for DTV. We'd be glad to do the same for you. But don't wait until the last minute or you might find yourself at the end of the cue that formed with other holdouts.