The incoming Obama administration has asked Congress to delay the transition to digital television in part because rural residents risk losing their connection to news and weather programming. The switchover to a digital signal was supposed to take place February 17th. At that time, the over the air signal would switch from analog to digital and those using older televisions would need to obtain a special contraption to continue watching. (Those connected to the boob tube world through cable or dish need not worry.)

The Obama transition team sent a letter to members of Congress today asking that this date be postponed because there is “insufficient support” for the problems consumers will experience when the signals are switched. The government had a program to help pay for the converter box gizmos that will allow an analog television connected to an antennae to receive broadcasts. The Washington Post reports that getting everyone switched over has been a problem, “causing lawmakers and consumer advocates to seriously worry that television watchers, particularly low-income, rural and elderly Americans who rely most heavily on over-the-air signals, will lose access to their main source of news and entertainment.”

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