After passing through the Senate and House of Representatives, President Obama signed the bill that postponed the final day of analog broadcasts to June 12, 2009. The switch is now optional for broadcasters and most markets will find that some stations will be shut-off next week on the original date while major network stations will hold off until the final possible minute.
February 11, 2009 · No Comments
The commercial on KBSI, FOX23 in Cape Girardeau, MO, looked like so many for the DTV transition. Maybe it was me, but the tone of the announcer seemed different. This was serious, like 681 local television stations across the country, the Sinclair-owned station serving the Missouri boothell was moving ahead with it’s digital transition.
Despite congress’ recent legislation supporting a four-month delay of the transition to digital TV signals, some 40% – 681 of about 1800 – TV stations plan to make the switch after February 17 anyway.
To date, 190 stations have made the change to all digital signals before Congress and the Obama Administration lobbied to delay. Their concern was the millions of U.S. households that only receive analog signals and haven’t made the necessary changes to digital service and/or TV sets.
The major networks, ABC, CBS, and NBC, said that would continue to broadcast in analog and digital. These three networks, however, only control about 100 of the total 1800 TV stations in question. The local stations that do decide to go all digital will free up some of the 700Mhz spectrum in those markets that companies such as Qualcomm have bought the rights to use.