DTV Transition – What is Your Station Going to Do?

UPDATE 2/8/09 – TAMPA will stay on analog until June.
Robert C. Pickering sent me this note: According to Eric Deegans in the St. Petersburg Times this week, the GM of Tampa Bay NBC affiliate WFLA sent an e-mail apparantly attempting to reach a conseneus about the stations switching their analog signals at the same time. Apparantly all but the FOX O&O, WTVT, had decided that if everyone make the switch at the same time, then they would, too.

That’s apparantly come apart. Since the Congressional decision to delay the end of analog until June 12, WTVT has decided to keep it’s analog signal on until then.

ORIGINAL STORY – The House has voted to delay DTV to June 12. Vote was 264-158. White House says bill’s passage “means that millions of Americans will have the time they need to prepare for the conversion.”

Meanwhile, in a letter to the Energy & Commerce Committee, FCC Chairman Michael Copps said that 61% of television stations should be able to turn off their analog signal before June 12 without interference. Copps also believes that many of the additional 700 stations could also do the same.

Sinclair Broadcast Group stations already are saying they will move before the June deadline. Sinclair figures it will cost roughly $1.25 million to operate two transmitters at its multiple properties for the extra three months. Stations in Hawaii have already made the digital switch with few reported problems.

Palm Beach, FL Station WTVX is one of them. WTVX chief engineer Jim Betts said the CW station was forced to turn off its analog signal because of a $500,000-plus switch-over to a new digital frequency for the station. Several weeks of work was needed on the station’s 1,500-foot tower in Fort Pierce, he said.
KOLO-TV in Reno, NV is another station that switched so it could turn off an old transmitter.

Some estimates put the cost to local stations in electricity alone at about $10,000 a month.

Take WTVP-TV in Peoria, IL. Chet Tomczyk, general manager of Channel 47, the area’s only public TV station, said he wants to stay with the original transition date because of the extra costs for a second transmitter. The station’s analog transmitter will save $7000 to $10,000 a month in power costs, he told the “Peoria Journal Star” newspaper. That’s the same story with many television stations across the nation.

WEEK-TV, Channel 25, and WHOI-TV, Channel 19, also of Peoria, will also shut down before June 12, their management said. “Assuming the FCC authorizes us to do so, it would be our intention to shut down our analog transmitter on Feb. 18,” said Mark DeSantis, general manager of WEEK-TV. From:Broadcast Engineering

What are you hearing?

2 thoughts on “DTV Transition – What is Your Station Going to Do?

  1. Dave Drumm, Engineer at Sinclair Broadcast Group reports:
    Well… I’m in Dayton Ohio… market – upper 50’s… and our newscast reported earlier tonight that all four (ABC/FOX/CBS/NBC) are switching off.

    I’m with Sinclair (ABC/FOX) where Del Parks, SBG Director of Eng., was reported (in a trade magazine) as saying the ‘budgets are set for 2/17/09 shutoff’ and that is what it’s going to be. I seen the article here on LI… I can look it up if anyone is interested.

    The CBS affiliate (COX) has stated locally that their DTV antenna is leased… where the lease ends on 2/17. So their analog is going off and work will start on final configurations for that reason.

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