Senate measure allows certain analog TV transmission after DTV transition

The U.S. Senate approved by unanimous consent Nov. 20 a measure to allow TV stations to voluntarily broadcast emergency information and an informational message about the DTV transition in analog format for 30 days following the February 2009 DTV transition.

The "Short-term Analog Flash and Emergency Readiness Act" (S. 3663), introduced by Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-WV, will allow analog transmission, subject to FCC limitations, of specific types of information, including:

  • emergency information as carried by digital TV stations;
  • English- and Spanish-language, as well as that accessible by people with disabilities, messages concerning the DTV transition, including the fact that the transition has taken place and additional action is required to continue receiving TV and the steps viewers must take to receive DTV emergency information.

A similar measure introduced by Rep. Lois Capps, D-CA, awaits action in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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