01.15.2009 11:00 AM
Hawaii Shuts Down Analog TV Today

Analog TV is no more in Hawaii, if everything there has gone as planned. TV stations there agreed to shut off analog transmitters at noon local time today to avoid interfering with the nesting habits of a local bird. Officials there estimated that around 20,000 homes rely on over-the-air television. As many as 53,000 residents requested $40 converter-box coupons from the federal government, 16,000 of which have been used.

According to a redOrbit report, hundreds of people have been calling help lines and TV stations asking for assistance with the converter boxes. Tim Sakahara of KGMB-TV, the local CBS affiliate, said yesterday was like “the calm before the storm, because as odd as it sounds, snow is forecast for all over Hawaii.

All the full-power stations in Hawaii, including KHON-TV (Fox); KITV-TV (ABC); KHNL-TV (NBC); KHET-TV and KMEB-TV (both PBS), plus about five independent broadcasters.

The PBS stations will have limited coverage for the time being because of a shipping delay from the mainland, Pacific Business News reports. The gear necessary to upgrade a translator in Hilo hasn’t yet arrived, but the stations are going ahead with the scheduled shutdown. The translator is expected to be up and running within two weeks, a station executive said.

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