Matthew Lasar has more on the proposed (by incoming Obama administration) delay in the February 17th shutoff of analog television broadcasting, asking if it's too late to turn back for logistical reasons. Links: Ars Technica plus another on Consumers Union also asking for the delay here. That may be the case.
The DTV transition has been in the works for a very long time, however until four months ago, no one predicted that it would coincide with a general financial crisis that has brought a number of broadcast advertising staples -- financials, automotive and retail -- to depression levels. It's also demonstrable that broadcast stations are more economically reliant on their over-the-air households than their cable and DBS households, magnifying whatever loss they will get in overall households by perhaps double in economic terms.
So, the coupon program is out of money. Congress should calculate whether it's cheaper to replenish that fund or wait for the television broadcasters to join the growing list of industries looking for a bail-out.
But it's not clear that consumers will be significantly more ready for digital several months hence with more coupons. These lines from Joni Mitchell's "Big Yellow Taxi" come to mind:
That you don't know what you've got
'Til it's gone...