Monday, August 25, 2008

What's Up In Wilmington? It's Now Just TWO WEEKS to the Transition Test.

Today is August 25th, which means that there are only two weeks remaining until the Wilmington, N.C. area becomes the first TV market in the country to transition to digital-only broadcast TV (other than the PBS affiliate and one low-power station), five months ahead of the rest of the U.S.A.

The big story of the last week is the "soft test" that took place on Tuesday the 19th, in which four of the five participating stations shut off their analog signals for 60 seconds (although from previous reports it's more likely that they actually put up a "you need to get DTV" message). According to Broadcasting & Cable magazine, it went off without a hitch (I've expressed my reservations about 60-second tests in the past, but it's notable that there were no viewer calls). What's interesting is that I had to use a national source to find out how it went, since none of the sites for local media (print or broadcast) reported on it - I'm not there, so I obviously don't see all of what's printed or broadcast, but it's still interesting that that news did not have a higher priority.

I do have two stories that were reported by station WECT (including one I missed from last time). The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) is sending their "DTV Trekker" truck into town for a series of public-education events over the next week (linked article includes video). And WECT is sponsoring their own Digital Television Expo on Thursday the 28th, with local vendors showcasing their DTV wares.

I'll be back next Monday with the one-week-out report.


At 12:51 PM, Blogger Jim Heartney said...

if they wanted to do a real test, they should do it for a half hour or more. Then they'd get some real idea what was up. Even better, start with a half hour per night, then move up to an hour, followed by a full day once a week. This stupid business of full switchover all at once just guarantees a trainwreck.


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