The city of Wilmington NC is set to throw the off switch for analog television broadcast and preview the 2/17/09 DTV transition in just a few short days, on Monday, 9/8/08. But before that happens, a big visitor by the name of Hanna seems to be planning a post-Labor Day visit to the beach area. The latest weather reports place likely landfall somewhere on the South or North Carolina coast, with Wilmington just about dead center in the projected trajectory. However, although it is not known whether or not it will be at hurricane levels when it hits, and is unlikely to be severe. It is also expected to be in and out of the area within about 12 hours, so it should be long gone by the time Monday rolls around.
Television stations in Wilmington have built-in permission to use their analog signals past the 9/8/08 deadline in order to broadcast emergency information.
Meanwhile, stations in Milwaukee WI and statewide in Pennsylvania have announced analog switch-off tests, deemed one of the most effective methods to alert viewers to the need to take action to continue receiving television service after 2/17/09. Six stations in Milwaukee will run the test 9/15/08. Pennsylvania’s test, involving stations in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Harrisburg/Lancaster/York, Erie and Johnstown/Altoona, is slated for 11/17/08. Further, the FCC and NAB have announced that analog shutdowns will be part of the program when FCC commissioners visit 80 DMAs to promote viewer awareness of the switch.