Monday, June 15, 2009

DTV as I say, not as I do

In its final DTV update, Nielsen reported that 2.8 million American households are totally unprepared digital transition. That's not so bad, that's less than 3%. Before the original February deadline it was more like 10%. So in my estimation it was worth waiting. Yet for all the hubbub there are 3 types of stations still broadcasting in analog.1. Border Stations.
The FCC gave special dispensation to UHF and VHF TV stations on the U.S./Mexico border. This is to allow them to compete with the Mexican stations that cannot be legally compelled to switch to DTV. I do note this same courtesy was not extended to the Canadian border. Whoops, that order never materialized. The analog Mexican TV stations continue to broadcast, those in the US do not.

The Low Power TV stations in the U.S. do not yet have a head deadline for DTV conversion. The FCC could issue a deadline at any time. I assume that the reactions to the Friday switch will largely dictate how far out this is. Some of these stations emulate FM station on 87.7 WNYZ-LP in New York and WLFM-LP in Chicago will likely drag this out as long as possible.

3. "Nightlight" stations
To help sweep up that 2.5% about 100 stations will continue running their analog signal but only to carry DTV conversion information for consumers. I don't have a complete list but it includes: KWQC-TV, KNBC-TV, KTLA-TV, WKMG-TV, KNSD-TV, KWHY-TV, WITI-TV, and about 95 others. They are scheduled to sign off on June 26th.

To commemorate the occasion I snagged the sign offs of four Analog stations. The cut offs range from dead mid-sentence stops to 6 minute extravaganzas. Downloads below:

WBRC-TV 08:54 AM
WLNS-TV 11:56 PM
WRTV-TV 08:05 AM
WTVR-TV 08:58 PM