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President Obama makes digital TV delay official

February 11, 2009 |  3:02 pm
President Obama signed the digital TV delay into law
President Obama signed the digital TV delay into law. Credit: Getty Images.

President Obama made the digital TV delay official today, signing legislation to put off the switch until June 12, the White House said.

"Millions of Americans, including those in our most vulnerable communities, would have been left in the dark if the conversion had gone on as planned," Obama said in a written statement. "This solution is an important step forward as we work to get the nation ready for digital TV."

Not everyone will get the benefit of that extra time. Though the major TV stations in Los Angeles won't turn off their analog signals until the new deadline, the law allows stations to apply to go ahead on the original date -- at the end of the day next Tuesday -- or anytime between now and June 12.

Nearly 500 stations have applied to pull their analog plug on Tuesday, although the FCC may block some early transitions. The most likely places the FCC will step in are markets where most stations want to make the switch early and many residents are unprepared.

-- Jim Puzzanghera