Oh, brother. Have we really come to the point where just any random agency can chime in with recommendations for the FCC and expect to be taken seriously? As the NTIA, FCC and Congress wrestle with delaying / not delaying the forthcoming digital TV transition, the Home Theater Specialists of America (HTSA) has pumped out a recommendation that the FCC consider delaying the cutover until June 1, 2009. According to Richard Glikes, executive director of HTSA: "An extra three and a half months will allow more time for the government to work through issues with the coupon program and get converter boxes to the people who need them; this extra time will prevent any missteps that might occur once the analog TV transmissions are stopped." Right, because changing the date a month before the scheduled switch (February 17, 2009) is so not confusing at all. The full release is after the break.

Experts Suggest Delay in Switch to Digital TV

Consumer electronics buying group, HTSA, recommends June 1, 2009 as new date for switch to digital signal

Chester Springs, PA-January 15, 2009- The Home Theater Specialists of America (HTSA) is recommending that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) consider delaying the turn-off of analog TV broadcast signals. The suggestion comes in response to recent debate over the countries preparedness for the transition to a digital signal, spurred by President-elect Obama's request to push back the transition date. HTSA believes that a short term delay is in the best interest of consumers and recommends a new transition date of June 1, 2009.

Richard Glikes, executive director of HTSA says, "An extra three and a half months will allow more time for the government to work through issues with the coupon program and get converter boxes to the people who need them. This extra time will prevent any missteps that might occur once the analog TV transmissions are stopped."

HTSA took a number of factors into account in making this recommendation, including the needs of TV viewers, the state of the economy and what will be done technologically with the frequency spectrum that is being shut down. The FCC has already auctioned off the soon-to-be unused spectrum to telecommunications companies for more than $20 billion. These companies will be able to expand their service offerings and do more with wireless in that space.

"The markets of the 62 members of HTSA are being affected differently, depending on concentration of elderly residents and prominence of rural areas," says Glikes. "Our suggestion for a moderate delay considers the needs of those markets that need more time to prepare for the switch. We think this extension would ease concerns of consumers but still enable the technology industry to continue to innovate."

About Home Theater Specialists of America

Home Theater Specialists of America (HTSA) is a national association of electronics experts who service the home and business. HTSA's members are located in 37 states from coast to coast and each location is staffed with experts who design and install high-end audio, video, automation, lighting, and climate systems for a discriminating clientele. HTSA represents a total buying power of more than $450 million and is supported by 62 retailers, nearly 100 store fronts, more than 800 installers and another 800 sales personnel in the field. The impeccable work of HTSA members is affirmed through partnerships with real estate developers and electronics manufacturers who recognize their commitment to quality. Visit www.htsa.com for more information.

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HTSA recommends June 1st as new DTV transition date, no one notices