A senior Democratic senator introduced legislation on Jan. 15 to delay until June 12 the transition from analog to digital television, saying more time is needed to help consumers get ready, Reuters reports. The congressionally mandated shift is now set for February 17. Owners of older television sets receiving over-the-air signals must buy a converter box, replace their TV with a digital TV, or subscribe to satellite or digital cable service. "Over 2 million Americans are waiting to receive a coupon to help them offset the cost of equipment that will help them manage the transition. Millions more don’t have the proper information they need," Sen. John Rockefeller of West Virginia said in a statement. Rockefeller is the incoming chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee. Delaying the transition by three months would give the federal government time to fill a backlog of consumer requests for $40 coupons to help defray the cost of an analog converter box. It would also give the government and the Federal Communications Commission more time to prepare for the change, Rockefeller said. Momentum has been building for Congress to delay the digital TV deadline. Many Democratic lawmakers fear the estimated 20 million mostly poor, elderly, and rural people who would be affected are not ready. Some Republicans oppose a delay, arguing it will create even more confusion and uncertainty. President-elect Barack Obama backs extending the deadline, but companies impacted by the conversion are split on the issue…

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