North Carolina Broadcasters Plan DTV Awareness Simulcast

Every commercial TV television station in North Carolina simultaneously will air a DTV education show this coming Saturday night. The cross-station simulcast was organized and produced by the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters.

Referred to as a “roadblock,” the 30-minute show will inform the folks in North Carolina that traditional over-the-air television will be gone as of Feb. 17, 2009. The telecast, DTV 411, will air on 27 stations across the state April 19 at 7:30 p.m.

The show depicts “a cynical, old curmudgeon and a hip, young technophile to show the differences between analog and digital technology,” according to the NCAB. The organization estimates that about 15 percent of viewers in the state rely exclusively on over-the-air TV signals.

The NCAB listed following participating stations at press time: WAXN, WBTV, WCCB, WCNC, WCTI, WCWG, WECT, WFMY, WFXI, WGHP, WILM, WITN, WJZY, WLFL, WMYT, WNCN, WNCT, WRAL, WRAZ, WRDC, WSFX, WSOC, WTVD, WWAY, WXII, WYCW, and WYDO.

North Carolina is the birthplace of much innovation in the way of digital television, but one cheeky, if misinformed, blogger had an interesting take on the Saturday night scenario:

“Can you imagine being one of those eight or nine people… home watching TV on Saturday night with only over-the-air reception? Those poor people are going to feel like they have entered the Twilight Zone when every station they tune to is playing the same government-supported broadcast.”

There’s no indication that any government entity is directly making up the ad revenue for the 13.5 cumulative hours represented by the telecast.