Mary Robinson is all about real-world information on the switch to digital television signals. The success of the DTV switch will depend on regular folks understanding new technology and getting it running in their homes. Ms. Robinson is weighing in on those nitty-gritty details, sharing her enthusiasm for TV-signal technology with those who are less technically inclined. She’s developed an expertise through years of hands-on experimentation, pulling in signals from the rooftop of her Texas home. Now she’s a resource for consumers struggling with the digital switch. We discovered Mary right here on TVWeek.com, where she reliably dispensed information in the comments section of this story, First Digital TV Converter Box Wins Government Approval about the digital switch. Let’s keep the conversation rolling!



Digital Transition Answers

Next Round of Station Transitions Is a Week Away

March 24, 2009 3:48 PM

We are less than a week away from the next round of analog television stations going dark.

Starting March 30, those noncommercial/educational stations that certified they were having severe financial problems and needed to power down their analog transmitters will be allowed to do so by the FCC.

The majority of the distressed analog NC/E station transmitter shutdowns will happen March 30-31.

The next wave of stations ending analog will be April 16. These stations consist primarily of independent and network-affiliated commercial stations.This is the earliest date that a commercial station could choose to end analog if it did not do so on Feb. 17.

After April 16, a number of stations will sporadically turn off transmitters leading up to the extended end date for the transition to digital, which is June 12.

To view a PDF file of the 158 stations ending analog before June 12, click here. The stations are arranged by Designated Market Areas (DMAs).

At this time, there were 421 stations that ended analog on or before Feb. 17, 2009. Between March 30 and June 12, 158 more stations will go to digital-only broadcasting. And on June 12, the remaining 927 analog television stations will cease to broadcast analog.

It's been a long road, and as we merge onto the digital highway, full-power analog broadcasting will be fading into the rear-view mirror. Sit back, relax, put the cruise control on and enjoy the ride. It's finally getting close, and we're headed into the 21st century!

Most of us, anyway …


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Comments (5)


Should have been done as planned on Feb 12th, but still glad to see it moving forward now. Hopefully the media recognizes that armageddon isn't imminent and that the public really is on top of it. Would be nice to see a few articles with that POV.

mary... the cat lady:

I believe that for the most part, everything will turn out mostly OK.
I do still worry about those in the rural areas of our country that are prone to getting severe weather, and will be too far from metro areas with television stations.
I myself, while still being able to recieve 7 digital television stations, will lose the only OTA PBS station that was available in our area.
I will miss that, and in my opinion, should not have happened. But I will learn to live with it.
What I am ready for is for the locals in my area to get their maximized signals up and running...
I will miss analog. It is what I grew up with, and as I have said before, it has served us well. But that being said, digital is exciting. It brings so many more features than analog ever could have, so I look forward to switch, and all it has to offer.


Armageddon isn't coming. Plenty of false profits saying that the end is near. Seems that DTV is a workable situation, but it will take more steps to get DTV to work BETTER than it works at the current.

As for the rules on "antenna education," and loss of signals, I have yet to see one thing on either. I have not seen any of my locals, or the Detroit staitons mention how areas will lose the signal.

In fact, i didn't see much on DTV since the switch was supposed to have happend. Isaw quite a bit more locally, before Feb 17th, 2009. I don't se the required "Big Switch" events crawlig onthe screen, nor do I see nearly as many "DTV.GOV" ads. Local personalities are not talking about the switch either. I also have not seen the countdown clocks as much either.

Yes, the above localizeed items may have been brought to me by a national cable company, which has minimized ads, but it still got the knowlege to the public.

THis makes me wonder... why the change in ads and crawls? The rules were not taken away, but less exposure of DTV generic knowlege is ensuing.

People are knowing more about DTV, and the rules are still in place. So, why is less material being shown?

Just something to ponder.

mary... the cat lady:

I think you will see more of the transition PSAs as we move into April. I think, and I may be wrong, but I think the FCC backed off on the countdown to make it a 100 day countdown for the end of analog transmitions. So I would expect to see the number of PSAs and the countdown ramp up during the month of April.
As far as the individual stations go, they must give a 30 notice to viewers that they will end analog before their chosen date to turn off the analog transmitters.
Just wait, the digital converter box ads will be back ad nauseum before long...

mary... the cat lady:

Today is April 1, and over the last two days 14 more television stations have turned off their analog transmitters. They all were non-commercial/educational stations.
The next round will come on April 16, and the numbers will start going up from there. There are a number of stations that will end analog on the 16th, and from there stations will end analog almost daily.
We are well on our way...

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