Wilmington's DTV Experiment Gets a Green Light

In May, the FCC announced that Wilmington, North Carolina had volunteered  to be the victims, er, first community to switch completely over to digital TV.  Although there were concerns that Tropical Storm Hanna would cause a postponement of the switch, the FCC announced on Sunday that the experiment would still go live on Monday, Sept. 8th.

About 15% of Americans still get their TV over-the-air, via antennas, and when the switch to DTV takes place, many of them will require converter boxes.  Coupons to subsidize the cost of these boxes are available, with a value of $40.  Each household can get 2 of these coupons.

In a press release, the FCC said:

The early digital switch in Wilmington will help assist the FCC and the nation to identify any issues that may need to be addressed prior the nationwide digital television transition on February 17, 2009.
Wilmington has slightly less to worry about int that only 7% of its households, or roughly of its homes are still using analog signals.

The FCC is planning a press conference at 10:30 AM EDT tomorrow.  An A/V link will be provided here when the conference starts.  The switch will be "flipped" at 12 noon.
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