Thursday, May 08, 2008

NC analog TV stations to go dark early

Broadcasting and Cable Magazine is reporting that Wilmington, North Carolina will be a test market for the digital TV transition. Mayor William Saffo told the magazine the city's network-affiliated TV stations will shut down their analog signals on September 8th and go digital only.

Presumably the FCC and stations hope to learn how well the digital conversion message is really getting out and whether there are any surprises that will have to be worked out before the rest of the country switches next February.

Earlier it had been reported that Fort Myers, Florida was also being considered for a similar test. To my knowledge that market has decided not to participate. However, there may be other test markets announced.

There are six TV stations in Wilmington:

  • 3: WWAY (DTV channel 46, ABC)

  • 6: WECT (DTV channel 44, NBC)

  • 10: WILM-LP (DTV channel 40, CBS)*

  • 26: WSFX (DTV channel 30, Fox)

  • 39: WUNJ (DTV channel 29, PBS)

  • 51: W51CW (DTV channel 51, TBN)*

* These are LPTV stations that do not automatically receive a digital facility. However, both stations do have permits for digital operation. W51CW's DTV permit is for the same channel as their analog, they cannot run both at the same time.

Other articles on this subject suggest WUNJ and W51CW are not part of this test and may continue to operate analog signals after September.

edited 20080508-0828 because I forgot to type a title!


Anonymous said...

Dear Sir,
The quickest way to loss viewers and revenue, is to turn off the transmitter. This is only another way to disenfranchize the poor and elderly.

Doug Smith said...

(I should mention that I've since read that TBN is in fact participating in this test.)