LPTVs, Class As and Analog Translators Won’t Shut Down On D-Day

Thanks to the efforts of broadcasters, the news media and the FCC, the public is getting the word that off-air analog TV is supposed to disappear on Feb. 17, 2009. The shutdown, however, does not apply to LPTV, Class A TV and TV translator stations. The FCC issued a Consumer Advisory notifying viewers that the Feb. 17, 2009 deadline only applies to full-power TV stations. It states, “The FCC is currently considering the remaining issues involved with the low-power digital transition and will make decisions regarding these stations in the future.”

The Advisory cautions that some TV translator stations that relay full power stations may be rebroadcasting announcements that the full-power station is shutting down.

While the Advisory was intended for consumers, it serves as a reminder that the licensees of translators in rural areas will have to plan for the analog shutdown and make other arrangements to get programming to the translator. This may require the installation of ATSC receivers and downconverters if the station supplying the feed will be carrying its main channel in HD only.