Hawaii to turn off analog early

October 20, 2008

Hawaii is turning off analog television a month earlier that the rest of the nation — on Jan. 15 — in order to avoid the Hawaiian petrel breeding season on the island of Maui.

The endangered petrel’s breeding season begins in mid-February. KITV general manager Mike Rosenberg said television stations in Hawaii would have to wait another year to take down the old transmitters atop Haleakala without disturbing the birds.

The Hawaii Association of Broadcasters made the decision to allow the deconstruction of analog facilities in time for breeding season of the birds.

According to the association, the early analog shutoff was prompted by conversations with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which advised them to “deconstruct” their analog facilities early to avoid interference with the petrels.

Some estimates say there are about 20,000 households throughout the state that rely on over-the-air TV.

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