Hawaii's Switch Goes Smoothly as Rest of Country Awaits Date
January 19, 2009 10:42 AM
Hawaii transitioned to digital-only broadcasting statewide at noon local time on Jan. 15. There are at least 30 more days to go for the rest of the country.
A delay of the mandated Feb. 17 transition for the rest of us was defeated by the Republicans in the Senate on Saturday, but the matter will be brought up by the Democrats again next week, it has been reported.
From all accounts that I have seen, the switch in Hawaii went smoothly. There are only an estimated 20,000 TV households in Hawaii that are not connected to cable or satellite, so the number of affected viewers was relatively small, no matter if they were ready or not. That can be contrasted with the city of Houston, Texas, where almost 1 million people will be affected by the transition.
There was only one PBS station in the state that was not ready for the transition at the time of the switch. They had not yet received the equipment necessary to get the digital signal to their viewing area. That glitch is expected to last for a couple of months or so.
I have heard that some viewers in Maine have already been told that after the switch, they will not be able to receive over-the-air television and will have to get cable or satellite to continue having television.
If a bill is successfully passed to postpone the transition for the rest of the country, the expected date for the switch would be June 12.