Today was the planned transition to digital television across America. While the Obama administration delayed the mandatory transition until June 12 due to lack of preparedness and the unavailability of digital converter coupons, hundreds of stations will go ahead and convert to digital.
Almost 500 stations will make the switch, that number according The Washington Post. Those stations had needed to notify the FCC of their intention to make the switch by Feb. 9, and given approval to do so. The cities who will be making the switch at various times today are scattered around the country.
According to an article from the Union-Tribune, four TV stations in San Diego are going digital today including local affiliates of CBS, ABC, FOX and CW. KPBS/Channel 15 will make the digital transition early in April. KNSD/Channel 39 and KUSI/Channel 51 will make the transition on June 12.
The Times-Herald is reporting that some Georgia stations will turn of analog today, including Georgia Public Broadcasting who will make the switch at midnight. WATC 57, which broadcasts Christian and educational programming, will also make the switch.
In Omaha, Nebraska, NET and WOWT plan to make the transition, reported KPTM.com. And in West Virginia, Metro News says WSAZ went digital last night at midnight. “We’re ready to go,” said WSAZ General Manager Don Ray. “We’ve got folks coming in to man phone banks.”
Phone banks should be plenty busy today in areas where analog signals are shut off. It is expected the elderly, lower-income and those without resources to prepare for the conversion will be most affected by the change. If ever there was a beta test for the conversion, this is it. Today should provide valuable information on what will happen on June 12.