02.09.2006 01:28 PM
CPB Grants Help DTV Transition for Local Public Television Stations
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting awarded more than $9.7 million to 30 public television stations nationwide on Jan. 31. The funds will allow the stations to acquire equipment needed to transmit a digital signal, and eventually provide digital services such as multicasting.

"Utilizing the powerful tool of digital technology, public television stations will be able to provide new and better services for their local communities," said Patricia Harrison, CPB president and CEO.

Created by Congress in 1967, the CPB is a private, nonprofit organization that provides funds to public TV and radio stations, including PBS and NPR stations. Congress has provided CPB with nearly $220 million in special funding to aid public television and radio's conversion from analog to digital broadcasting. Including the latest announcement, CPB has distributed grants to 461 public radio stations and 285 public television stations to complete their digital transitions.

At present, 326 of 356 public television stations are already broadcasting in digital, making public DTV available in approximately 95 percent of U.S. television households. This spring, following a review of remaining conversion needs within the system, CPB expects to initiate the disbursement of the $29.7 million in 2006 funding recently approved by Congress.

"Public television must be at the forefront of the digital revolution," added Harrison, "and thanks to the investments made by Congress, state governments and local stations, we are well on our way."

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