Wilmington TV broadcasters make switch to digital

by John Dunbar, Associated Press

Wilmington’s commercial broadcasters turned off their old-fashioned, inefficient analog signals at noon Monday, risking outrage from viewers not equipped to receive a digital signal on their aging televisions.

Wilmington volunteered to be a canary in a digital coal mine – a test market for the national conversion to digital broadcasting.

The rest of the nation’s full-power television stations won’t be converting until Feb. 17, 2009, a date set by Congress.

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Wilmington DTV switch may reveal flaws in plan

by Todd Shields, Bloomberg

Wilmington, North Carolina, switches to digital television at noon today in a test that may reveal flaws in a plan to shut off analog signals nationwide next year.

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Despite storms, FCC says Wilmington DTV switch still on for Sept 8

Sept 5 UPDATE: Federal Communications Commission officials will decide no later than 2 p.m. ET Sunday whether to postpone the early digital television market transition test planned for Monday in Wilmington, N.C.

by John Eggerton, Broadcasting & Cable

At press time, a Federal Communications Commission spokesman said the FCC still expects the Wilmington, N.C., early analog plug-pull to go off as planned Monday, Sept. 8.

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DTV Hearing details

[FCC Announcement]

Washington, DC – FCC Chairman Kevin Martin today announced a nationwide initiative to increase awareness about the upcoming transition to digital television. The FCC identified target television markets for specific DTV outreach, including all those markets in which more than 100,000 households or at least 15% of the households rely solely on over-the-air signals for television.

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FCC plans DTV hearings around the country

by Chloe Albanesius, PC Magazine

Having just wrapped its white spaces tour, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will hit the road once again to educate consumers about the upcoming digital television transition.

The five commissioners and FCC staff will fan out across the nation over the next few months to ensure that citizens are not left in the dark come February 17, 2009.

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Bush agencies place crooked consultants in charge of DTV information campaign

by Bob Williams, Hear Us Now

There are times when killing the messenger -- or rather the messaging consultant -- might be the best thing for everyone involved.

Case in point: the peculiar decision by the federal bureaucrats in charge of educating the public on the looming transition to digital television to spend millions of taxpayer dollars to hire the ethically-challenged Ketchum Communications Inc. as their communications and "messaging" guru.

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Are we ready for next winter's DTV transition?

by Bob Williams, Hear Us Now

Earlier this week the two top government officials in charge of the upcoming transition to digital television trundled up to Capitol Hill to report on how it’s going.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin and National Telecommunications and Information Administration Acting Director Meredith A. Baker demurred when requested to give a letter grade to their agencies efforts so far. Both artfully answered “incomplete.”

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Digital TV transition is one year away


The cutoff date for analog broadcast television is a year away. Here's how it will affect you, whether you get your TV signal from cable, a satellite dish, or an antenna.

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Dec 13: FCC before Senate Commerce Committee

[Liveblogged by The Consumerist]

The FCC's showdown with the Senate Commerce Committee began at 10am EST today. The hearing comes one day after Democratic Commissioners Jonathan Adelstein and Michael Copps pilloried Chairman Kevin Martin's plan to allow one company to control a newspaper and television or radio station in the same city as: "a mish-mash of half-baked ideas."

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Cable customers receive DTV reprieve


U.S. communications regulators on Tuesday approved new rules designed to ensure that cable television subscribers who own analog TV sets will still have access to local broadcast TV channels after a switch-over to digital television in 2009.

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The media's job is to interest the public in the public interest. -John Dewey