11 Florida Stations Plan Joint Digital Test

May 8, 2008  •  Post A Comment

Eleven TV stations in central Florida have banded together to run a test designed to flush out viewers who are not technologically prepared for the congressionally mandated nationwide switch to digital television on Feb. 17.
The unprecedented three-stage test, announced Thursday in Orlando, will consist of brief blackouts of the stations’ over-the-air analog signals.
Cable and satellite customers in the market will see no disruption, because they already are receiving the stations’ digital signal from their providers.
Broadcast-only viewers, however, will see a blackout of several seconds and then a graphic telling them where to find information about what corrective measures they need to take in order to be able to see TV programming uninterrupted when the analog signal goes away for real and for good in February.
Unlike in Wilmington, N.C., where the local stations’ analog signals will end for good on Sept. 8 in an FCC-approved test of what other markets might face in February, the Orlando stations will resume analog broadcasting at the end of each test.
The Orlando tests, which will be heavily promoted and explained on-air by all of the stations, will last one minute only. The first will take place at 7:59 p.m. June 25.
“One of the biggest questions viewers have is, ‘Will this affect me?’ This test will answer that,” Richard Monn, WESH-TV/WKCF-TV chief engineer and spokesman for the consortium of stations running the test, said in the announcement. “To the best of our knowledge, the marketwide test we’re proposing has not been utilized or attempted by any other alliance of broadcasters in the country.”
The central Florida stations participating in the dry run are Hearst-Argyle-owned WESH-TV and WKCF-TV, Post-Newsweek-owned WKMG-TV, Cox-owned WFTV-TV and WRDQ-TV, Daytona Beach Community College’s WCEU-TV, Univision-owned WOTF-TV, Good Life Broadcasting’s WTGL-TV and Brevard County Community College’s WBCC-TV.
Fox-owned WOFL-TV and WRBW-TV are not participating in the Orlando test.
A representative for WOFL said the station “is following all FCC guidelines and is doing what is required of the station to educate consumers who get their signals solely from an analog source as to what will happen on Feb. 17, 2009.”
3:15 p.m.: Added final paragraph


  1. Pinellas County Spending tax payer’s money again on nothing !
    How about $45,000.00 taxpayer’s dollars for wooden stakes
    Pinellas county spearheaded by Peter Yauch (head of the utilities), and Joyce Gibbs of the Real Estate is planning to spend money for a fence to be erected on Robin trail in palm harbor on Pinellas county land.
    To date they have spent $15,000 and plan to spend at least $30,000 more just for a fence (and you think the government spends a lot on screws) !
    You may ask why, when Pinellas is told to cut back due to amendment 1, loss of tax dollars, and laying off staff should Pinellas build a fence around of all things a buried drainage pipe?
    Good question !!! The clear answer when asked by Joyce
    Gibbs and the county to me was-
    1. Because we are Pinellas County we can do what we want and
    2. We have had vandalism on our property. Now get this what kind of massive vandalism would cause Pinellas county this much concern to build a fence against signed petitions, yes all the neighborhood signed a petition to not build a fence?
    Ok here it is when Pinellas county spent $9000.00 tax payers dollars to survey a lot that was already there they put wooden stakes on the corners –These were removed and yes by definition this is vandalism.
    When presented a signed valid petition it was ignored by Peter Yauch and on the week of June 15th the fence is going in.
    Don’t the people control the government ? On the Pinellas site it shows on a chart that the citizens control the administers. What else is Pinellas county spending there money on ?? Students ?? Schools?? Food or the assistance for the real needy ?? Do you think Pinellas is doing the right thing? Don’t we have a voice?
    I guess there answer is let them eat stakes. (wooden)
    I am available for comment anytime
    Richard Bergeron Owner and resident
    472 Klosterman Rd West
    Palm Harbor fl 34683 Phone 727-798-6569

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