Digital TV Transition Date in Transition?

Looks like our new government is hard at work already. A scant few days into the new administration's reign and they're already rocking the boat. The Senate passed a bill today that would delay the analog to digital TV transition for another 4 months. This is rather comical because the first deadline for the change was sometime in 2001. Most people have forgotten about that one.

It's looking like the White House doesn't believe people are ready with their converter boxes, coupons are gone and some people still haven't figured out how to stop their VCR from flashing 12:00. Apparently, another 4 months should fix that. Yes we can!

Anyway, to some extent, that's good news for churches using wireless microphones. Well, that could be good news, that is. The bill still needs to pass the House (which seems likely), and since the Obama administration is calling for it, it's likely to be signed.

Should there be a delay, June 12 is the new target date. There's still no word from the FCC what the migration plan out of the 700 Mhz spectrum would look like, but that's just how they roll. 

Regardless of how this turns out, if you have wireless mics operating in the 700 Mhz range, start making plans to move. Shure, Sennheiser, Lectrosonics and AKG are all offering re-tuning or rebates. I know we're in tough financial times and no one wants to replace perfectly good equipment, but you need to start making plans to do so. Whether it's Feb 17, June 12 or next year, we'll have to be done with 698-806 Mzh eventually.

And remember, there are always those old-fashioned wired microphones!

Read more on the bill at MSNBC's web site. Hat tip to Daniel Murphy for Twittering about this bill.

[Update 10:09 PM] Jason Cole has brought it to our attention that the DTV transition and the 700 Mhz migration are separate issues. So, even if the FCC (or the White House) holds off on the DTV transition, AT&T and others are just waiting to flip the switch on Feb. 18, as they presumably take over the 700 Mhz band. I'm not exactly sure how this would affect TV stations that are still broadcasting in that band, however, it is sure to have negative implications for wireless mic users. So the advice still stands: Get out of the 700 Mhz band ASAP. Like a leaky faucet, it's not going to get better if we ignore it.

Thanks to Jason for pointing this out. When the government gets involved, it takes a village to keep all the facts straight!