Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Amost 500 stations go digital today despite DTV delay; some customers stranded: lists of affected stations available from FCC

Despite the DTV Delay Act (S 352) about a third of analogue stations, mostly in small cities, stop broadcasting analog signals tonight, leaving unconverted customers in the dark. In some cities, unconverted analog televisions will stop carrying one or more stations at midnight. Your local stations will tell you if this is happening. No stations in the Washington DC area are affected. The FCC has a list of the 491 stations on two PDF documents: here and here. There are 123 additional stations that may convert today if they meet additional guidelines, here. These lists appear on the website “TV Conversion Help” here.

Some of the smaller cities include Augusta GA, Dayton OH, and Providence RI. This morning, ABC News offered an AP story to the effect by AP writer Peter Svensson.

This morning ABC demonstrated how to install the converter box. The antenna is connected to it, which is in turn connected to the television. But on many older televisions the rabbit-ear antennas would have to be removed first.

It is not clear that people who buy converter boxes on their own dime will get reimbursed later by the economic stimulus. There have been suggestions that local “geeks” (“Chuck” people) call Meals on Wheels and offer to help shut-ins today in these specific cities.

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