Wednesday, February 4, 2009

CONFIRMED: DTV Switch Date Now June 12, 2009

UPDATE: We have decided to run the first ever Tri-State Media Watch poll. The question is, are you ready for the DTV switchover on the new date? Yes, no, or somewhat (meaning you might still have one or more analog TV's which aren't ready). Vote to the right...Poll will close Friday, February 13 at Midnight PT.

Original Item Follows...


We have just heard via MSNBC that the DTV transition date has now been pushed back to June 12, 2009. From their story:

The House voted today 264-158 to delay the analog TV shutdown until June 12.

The nation was two weeks away from the original date of Feb. 17 for the digital transition, allowing broadcasters to replace analog TV signals with digital ones.

But the Obama administration and many Democrats asked for the delay, saying millions of people are not ready for the switch. The bill, already approved by the Senate, now goes to the president for his approval, considered a given. Still be resolved is the funding needed for more coupons to help consumers offset the cost of converter boxes. That issue will likely be considered as part of the economic stimulus legislation.

This means nobody HAS to switch on February 17, but they are allowed to do so if they file with the FCC.

So far, no Cincinnati stations have done so YET. However, RabbitEars.Info's list of stations which have filed to be allowed to switch sooner than June 12 does include Dayton's two Sinclair stations (WRGT 45/WKEF 22), COX Broadcasting's WHIO 7, and LIN's WDTN 2, for our readers up that way.


emery_r said...

Today's front page article in the Cincinnati Enquirer on the DTV delay is primarily an AP wire service report, but local TV/radio guru John Kiesewetter added sketchy info about reaction from several local stations.

John reported this about Ch. 64: "'There's a pretty good chance we'll turn (analog) off on Feb. 17,' said Jon Law- head, WSTR-TV (Channel 64) general manager. Channel 64 is owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group, which announced Tuesday it plans to stick with the Feb. 17 date."

And then John offers this: "Managers for Channels 9, 12 and 19 said they would prefer to cut off analog transmissions Feb. 17. Stations would save about $6,000 a month in electricity, or $24,000, through June 12. Nationwide, stations have been broadcasting in both analog and digital for more than a year.

WCPO-TV (Channel 9) has a work crew scheduled to remove the analog antenna from atop its Walnut Hills tower in May, and replace it with a new, more powerful digital antenna, says Bill Fee, Channel 9 general manager. A decision about continuing analog service will be made Monday, he said.

'We definitely want to see what the other stations (here) will do. We don't want to be the odd man out, the only ones without an analog signal,' said Jack Dominic, CET executive vice president.

For now, viewers should be prepared to lose analog programming on Feb. 17, Fee says."
- - -
That leaves only Ch. 5 without comment in the article, although everyone else mentioned here was rather tentative about holding to Feb. 17. As Ch. 48's man seemed to put it, nobody wants to be the last one to "turn out the lights", so to speak -- everyone wants to jump at the same time, just as Dayton stations are planning.

emery_r said...

And now, presented for everyone's continuing amusement or aggravation:

The FCC's own acting chairman admits "'...the FCC is nowhere where it needs to be' on the digital transition", according to this article. Good grief. GOOD GRIEF!