Wilmington Preps for Aug. 19 Digital ‘Soft Test’

Aug 14, 2008  •  Post A Comment

Four commercial stations in Wilmington, N.C., site of the earliest complete switch to digital signals, will turn off their analog signals for one minute starting at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 19. The test is in preparation for the closely watched real end of analog broadcasting in that market on Sept. 8. The nationwide transition won’t take place until Feb. 17, 2009.
ABC affiliate WWAY-TV, NBC affiliate WECT-TV, Fox affiliate WSFX-TV and CBS affiliate WILM-LP will participate in the test.
According to information from the National Association of Broadcasters Thursday, Nielsen estimates 8.8% of the Wilmington market, or 15,450 homes, relies exclusively on free over-the-air broadcast TV. In addition, some cable or satellite homes also have additional sets that are receiving only over-the-air analog signals.
“This is a terrific way for viewers to learn whether or not they are prepared for the Sept. 8 switch to digital broadcasting,” WWAY General Manager Andy Combs said in the announcement. “The test will be long enough for folks to check if all their sets are ready for Sept. 8. We are looking forward to helping Wilmington viewers become the first in the nation to switch to free digital television.”
During the minute-long, so-called “soft test” on Aug. 19, viewers who are still watching analog signals will see the following message on their TV screens:
“This is a 60-second test shutoff of Wilmington’s analog television signals. If you can see this message, this television set needs to be upgraded to digital before September 8, 2008, at noon, when Wilmington commercial TV stations go all digital.
“Now is a good time to check if the other antenna TV sets in your house are upgraded to digital.
“To continue receiving television signals, upgrade to digital now with a converter box, a new TV set with a digital (ATSC) tuner or by subscribing to a pay service like cable or satellite.
“For more information call 888-225-5322 (TTY: 866-644-0908) or visit www.DTVWilmington.com.”

One Comment

  1. Living in rural Nevada makes it impossible to take advantage of the converter coupons. My coupond expired and I wasted a couple of 25-dollars-for-gas tips into town. Even with calling ahead the WalMart was sold out every time I tried to buy.
    Yeah, more anxiety and waste induced by the feds……

Your Comment

Email (will not be published)