Update: The U.S. House of Representatives has killed a proposal from  the U.S. Senate to delay the switch from analogue to digital TV broadcasting there.

The Senate measure called for a four month postponement in the switchover date, from February 17 to June 12 of this year, to allow Americans not yet prepared for the change to take appropriate measures. Estimates of the number of U.S. households which currently rely on direct broadcast TV rather than satellite or cable range from 6.5 million to 20 million.

Oponents of th delay said it was unfair to TV broadcasters which would have to continue transmitting both digital and analogue signals until the summer, and would cause confusion for consumers.

The U.S. government has been offering grants of $40 per household since late last year to offset the cost of digital set-top converter boxes so people with older analogue sites can receive the new digital signals. However, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, which is responsible for the grant program, has already dispensed the entire (US)$1.3 billion allotted for the program and is awaiting delivery of anoither (US)650 million approved earlier this week as part of the Obama economic stimulous package.

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