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Broadcasters Interrupt Analog Signals to Warn Viewers of DTV Transition

This week two more broadcasters interrupted their analog signals to inform viewers of the impending end of full-power analog broadcasting. KPHO-TV, CBS Channel 5 in Phoenix, Ariz., said it was planning to interrupt broadcasting on its analog transmitter for about 20 seconds during each of its newscasts this Thursday.

KPHO-TV general manager Steven D. Hammel explained, “The biggest question people have is, ‘Will my TV work?’ After watching our tests, they will know whether it will work or not work. If you have an analog set and you’re not hooked up to cable or satellite, people will see snow, but they also will see information on that video.”

Hammel said the tests would take place on every one of their newscasts, from early morning to 10 p.m.

In Connecticut, WFSB conducted its first “DTV Awareness Test” on Thursday between noon and 12:30 p.m.

“Educating WFSB’s viewers on the FCC mandated digital transition has been our top priority,” said Klarn DePalma, WFSB vice president and general manager. “The DTV Awareness Test is a great way to get viewers the information they need to prepare for the transition.”

During the test, viewers with analog TV tests received information on what steps should be taken to convert their TV sets. Viewers watching over cable, satellite or a digital-ready TV continued to see the broadcast. WFSB said it will conduct more “DTV Awareness” tests during the next month at different times to allow viewers to determine if they need to purchase a DTV converter box. The station received more than 100 calls from viewers asking questions about what they need to do to receive WFSB after Feb. 17.

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.