TV’s Digital Transition Starts in Wilmington, N.C.

Sep 7, 2008  •  Post A Comment

The digital TV era dawns at noon today in Wilmington, N.C., when a small galaxy of national, state and local government officials and broadcast executives gather at Thalian Hall in the city’s historic downtown district to mark the end of commercial analog TV in an early test-run of the federally mandated nationwide switch in February.
Lips were tightly zipped Sunday about exactly what will happen during the ceremony.
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin, a North Carolina native, and FCC Commissioner Michael Copps will headline the federal contingent. National Association of Broadcasters President and CEO David Rehr will be there as well.
Hank Price, the president and general manager of Hearst-Argyle NBC affiliate in Winston-Salem, N.C., and the president of the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters will emcee the two-hour event.
Most everyone at the event has a lot riding on the technical switch going smoothly. Any disruptions of local viewing may provide a road map of what lies ahead for the country as a whole.
For the six months since Wilmington was selected as the test market, the residents of the 197,760 homes in the five-county designated market area, the 135th largest in the country, have been bombarded by information–written, spoken and broadcast—about the switch.
The devil has been in the details for the general public, which has been given information on who would need to buy what kind of equipment in order to not lose their free over-the-air broadcast signal. That has included messages on how to get $40 worth of federal help toward buying the set-top box that will convert digital signals into old-fashioned analog signals that can prolong the usefulness of old analog TV sets.
A totally anecdotal, random and unscientific survey conducted by asking cab drivers, shop keepers and innkeepers encountered on a humid and hot Sunday afternoon in Wilmington, the response was uniform: “I’m ready. I’ve got cable.”
Of course, these are not the elderly, house-bound, poor or otherwise vulnerable communities everyone knows will be most affected by the switch in this Southeastern corner of North Carolina.
The Wilmington market dodged what could have been a devastating bullet when Hurricane Hanna produced high, but tolerable winds, brief and scattered power outages and some minor flooding on Friday before heading up the East Coast.
Perhaps it’s an omen.
Remain up-to-date on the latest news of the digital switch right here at TVWeek’s DTV Switch Navigator.


  1. There is still a lot of work to be done surrounding the transition to digital television.
    You can read about my experience at the Wilmington test run on my blog
    Or you can visit my website, http://www.transition2dtv.com/,to get info on outreach workshops to keep seniors and others from being left in the dark.

  2. Excellent job.

  3. Wonderful to read!

  4. Thank you for another informative blog. Where else could I get that kind of info written in such a perfect way? I have a project that I am just now working on, and I have been on the look out for such information.traffic cones

  5. Excellent job.

  6. My bro told me about this site just today. Great blog you’ve got!

  7. I’ll gear this review to 2 types of people: current Zune owners who are considering an upgrade, and people trying to decide between a Zune and an iPod. (There are other players worth considering out there, like the Sony Walkman X, but I hope this gives you enough info to make an informed decision of the Zune vs players other than the iPod line as well.)

  8. Interesting thoughts here. I appreciate you taking the time to share them with us all. It’s people like you that make my day 🙂

  9. I cant believe the NHL is going to risk losing one of the best players in his prime to the nHL

  10. Interesting thoughts here. I appreciate you taking the time to share them with us all. It’s people like you that make my day 🙂

  11. I really like the colors here on your blog. did you design this yourself or did you outsource it to a professional?

  12. Great wordpress blog here.. It’s hard to find quality writing like yours these days. I really appreciate people like you! take care and see you soon

  13. Hey how are you doing? I just wanted to stop by and say that it’s been a pleasure reading your blog. I have bookmarked your website so that I can come back & read more in the future as well. plz do keep up the quality writing

  14. I like your blog.

  15. Interesting thoughts here. I appreciate you taking the time to share them with us all. It’s people like you that make my day 🙂

  16. Thank you for great article. I had a very good time reading, and there were few things I was surprised by.

  17. I love the expression. Everyone needs to express there own opinion and feel free to hear others. Keep it up 🙂

  18. Yo. First of all – beautiful blog! Secondly this article was also good and interesting to read, but I don’t think everything you have said is completely true. I will need to google about few things you have mentioned in your artcile to make sure. But anyway thanks for trying and good luck on writing other articles. P.S sorry for bad English, I aren’t English native speaker.

  19. I like your blog.

  20. This is the best blog I’ve ever seen in my life! I really appreciate you taking the time out of your busy day to share your this with everyone.

  21. Wonderful content. I will want a bit of time to entertain your website=D

  22. Incredible! This blog looks just like my old one! It’s on a entirely different topic but it has pretty much the same layout and design. Superb choice of colors!

Your Comment

Email (will not be published)