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Hawaii Shuts Down the Analog

From RF Report.

Hawaii completed its analog shutdown at noon Thursday (Jan. 15).

As this report was being written at 9 p.m. HST, with the exception of loss of over-the-air Hawaii Public TV service to a large part of Hawaii Island, there did not appear to be any significant problems.

One news report estimated only 20,000 people receive TV over the air in Hawaii. However, the same news report said hundreds of calls for support were pouring into the statewide consumer support center.

Hawaii island (the “Big Island”) appears to have suffered the most from the DTV transition. Along the east coast of the island, some viewers able to receive analog broadcasts from TV stations transmitting from the top of Haleakala on Maui were expected to have problems receiving DTV signals from the new antenna farm on Ulupalakua Ranch, 3,500 feet lower on the mountain.

PBS Hawaii translators serving Hilo and points south depend on off air reception from Maui. An error by a shipping company handling the equipment needed to receive the weaker DTV signal means that viewers using the PBS Hawaii translator in Hilo and the translators further south that depend on it shutdown when the analog transmitter on Maui was shut off. Steve Komori, vice president of Content Delivery, said the station hopes to be back on the air in Hilo sometime within the next two weeks, depending on how quickly the shipping company corrects this situation.

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.