Congress Approves U.S. Digital TV Transition Delay to June

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The U.S. House of Representatives voted Wednesday to delay a transition to digital television signals until June 12, extending the original deadline by four months amid concerns many in the nation were unprepared.

The bill now heads to President Barack Obama for his signature. Last week, the U.S. Senate passed the measure.

President Obama had started asking for a delay last year, prior to stepping into his new post. A growing number of people feared many in the U.S. weren't ready yet for the transition to digital television from analog at the original date, Feb. 17, because of problems with a federal program to distribute vouchers for digital TV set-top boxes.

The U.S. Commerce Department, which was running the program to distribute up to two US$40 vouchers per household for digital set-top boxes, had reached its funding limit for the program. An additional budget for the program is part of the fiscal stimulus plan the U.S. is working to pass amid the global economic downturn.

The government set up a Web site to help people with the digital TV transition.

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