The FCC is expecting many local television stations to participate in a coast-to-coast soft test of the DTV transition. It will feature analog shut-downs during the day, the timing and duration of which is at the discretion of the station. And the analog signals won’t shut down all the way – instead, they will interrupt programming and warn any viewer suffering the interruption that they are vulnerable to total loss of service 6/12/09.
The FCC is not only encouraging television (and other) news outlets to feature this story, it is providing material to help them do it. The FCC’s DTV Media Toolkit is available at http://www.dtv.gov/media_toolkit.html. It has a wealth of information, “…including local statistics and reception information, answers to frequently asked questions, media contacts and other important resources.”
“The soft test is a wake-up call to consumers telling them that the time to get ready for the DTV transition is now,” said Acting FCC Chairman Michael Copps. “We don’t want anyone to be left without the news, information and entertainment they need and enjoy. If you’re having trouble getting ready, you can get help right in your community and even in your own home by calling 1-888-CALL-FCC.”
RBR/TVBR observation: We encourage all stations to take part in this. Most citizens are ready to go, but for those who are not, it will be much better to find out now while there is still time to make amends, than to find out when the analog signal goes away for good.