Congress is going to take another whack at delaying the DTV transition date from February 17th to June 12th.  Its reasoning: as many as 6.5 million people are not ready, many of them poor, rural and/or elderly.  Today’s NY Times reports on what stations in Houston are doing.  And what they are doing is happening here in West Michigan and across the country.

No one wants millions of Americans to be without local television.  Yet I am not sure the deadline move is going to guarantee that.  First of all, there are estimates of more than 3.3 MILLION people on the waiting list for coupons.  How long will it take to clear that backlog, and help the rest of the people in need?

I help field phone calls at WZZM most Tuesdays when we host several segments with our VP of Technology called ‘Ask Chuck.’  Many of them have no clue how to hook up their converter box and are relying on sons, sons-in-law, neighbors, etc. for help.

This is one way to hook up the box, VCR and TV

This is one way to hook up the box, VCR and TV

And those are the lucky ones who have someone to call.  I hope every community follows Houston’s lead and use outreach group like Meals on Wheels to reach everyone.

To me, true success means on February 18th — or June 13th — no one knows analog television disappeared.