Congress recently passed legislation changing the date for the termination of analog broadcasts of over-the-air television from February 17, 2009 to June 12, 2009, and President Obama has recently signed this legislation into law. This legislation, however, does NOT mandate that television stations continue broadcasting in analog until that date, but instead allows stations to terminate such broadcasts early in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Federal Communications System (the "FCC").
For the past year, television stations, including this station, have notified viewers of the February 17, 2009 analog shutoff date through on-air announcements, informational crawls, full-length programs, and their website. As a result, in order to avoid additional confusion due to the date change and as permitted by the recently enacted legislation, this station has notified the FCC that we would like to cease analog operations on February 17, 2009, as originally planned, and the FCC has consented to this station's plans for early termination. As required by the FCC, we are currently airing announcements throughout the day to inform our viewers that we will terminate analog broadcasting on effective at 11:59PM on February 17.
Viewers will still be able to see this station's programming over-the-air as a result of our continuing to broadcast our digital signal. Viewers who rely on over-the-air antennas for reception will need a digital television with a digital receiver; or, if they have analog televisions, they will need a digital-to-analog converter box to receive television programming. Viewers who receive this station via cable or satellite should see no change or disruption to their service. Additional information about the digital transition, including the government's converter box coupon program, is available on this web site or by visiting www.dtv.gov.
The FCC has a newly revised DTV website. Consumers may go to www.dtv.gov to learn about DTV, check the status of their coupon application, and find helpful publications such as a troubleshooting guide that provides a converter box hook-up checklist and a guide that offers tips on the reception of digital signals. The newly revised website also offers DTV reception maps for your neighborhood.
There are also 4 new publications relating to the DTV transition. Links below:
Broadcast Digital TV (DTV) is turbo-charged television, yielding clearer pictures, better sound, more programming and more viewing excitement than traditional analog television. Broadcast Digital TV offers a picture free of “ghosts,” “snow” or interference. The crisper, shaper image is due to the increased number of pixels the digital signal puts on the screen – the higher the number, the sharper the picture – and High-definition Television (HDTV) has the highest resolution available.
Furthermore, HDTV provides 5.1 channels of Dolby Digital CD-quality surround sound, adding to the ultimate home theatre experience. Broadcast Digital TV also enables broadcasters to multicast, bringing viewers multiple channels of over-the-air programming simultaneously in a Standard-definition Television (SDTV) format.
Why is Digital TV better than “regular” analog TV?
Broadcast Digital TV brings viewers five times the picture resolution and clarity of analog TV, making viewers feel like they are right in the middle of the action on their screens. Broadcast Digital TV uses binary code, the same system of ones and zeroes that runs on computers and digitally recorded compact discs. Switching TV broadcasts to digital is like switching from cassette tapes to compact disc or from VHS tape to DVD – the pictures are clearer, and sound is improved, giving viewers their favorite programs on a whole new level. In addition, with a 16:9 aspect ratio compared to today’s 4:3 aspect ratio of analog television, Broadcast Digital TV lets viewers see "the big picture" with much wider images.
Will consumers have to pay to receive Digital TV broadcasts?
No. Unlike digital cable and digital satellite where consumers pay monthly fees for services, Broadcast Digital TV provides high quality programming and more content via FREE, OVER-THE-AIR broadcasts.
What about my existing analog TV?
Until the total conversion to Broadcast Digital TV is made (June 12, 2009), broadcasters will generally simulcast the same programs on two different channels – one in a digital format and one in analog. Viewers with analog sets will be able to adapt a digital tuner decoder box to their sets. They will be able to receive sharp, crisp and vivid digital based programming, however, they will not be able to experience the stunning visual clarity and sound quality that an HDTV display provides.