Sayonara Analog TV

This just in from KEET:

 

February 6, 2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

KEET-TV WILL CEASE ANALOG TRANSMISSION ON FEBRUARY 17, 2009

After 40 years of broadcasting on analog channel 13, KEET-TV, public television for the North Coast, will cease transmission of its over-the-air analog signal after 11:59 p.m. on February 17, 2009. The analog shut-off will only affect viewers that receive their programming with an indoor or outdoor antenna. Cable subscribers will have no interruption of service.

Ron Schoenherr, KEET-TV’s Executive Director said, “There is some understandable confusion over the current legislation moving through Congress dealing with the possibility to continue analog broadcasting until June 12, 2009.  KEET-TV’s staff and board of directors made the decision to stick with the originally mandated shut-off date and stop broadcasting our analog signal on February 17.  The main consideration was a financial one.  To date, KEET-TV has spent almost $2 million to comply with the federally mandated digital conversion, and we are still seeking funds for its completion. The average monthly PG&E bill for operating KEET’s 23-year-old analog transmitter is between $3,000 to $4,000. We simply do not have the funds to continue analog broadcast for another four months.”

In compliance with the federal mandate KEET began broadcasting a digital signal in 2003.  In 2007, KEET began broadcasting a high-power digital signal on digital channel 13-1, and added their second channel KEET WORLD, which airs PBS news, public affairs and documentary programming on 13-2. In January of this year, KEET applied to the FCC for permission to terminate analog broadcasting on the originally mandated date of February 17, and has been running public service announcements giving viewers advance notice of the analog cut-off date.

Viewers that receive an over-the-air signal will need to install a converter box that connects to an antenna and television set.  In many cases, “rabbit ear” antennas may not work well with digital broadcasting.  New digital set-top antennas may also need to be purchased. There is viewer information available on KEET’s website http://www.keet.org, and questions about the digital conversion may also be directed to dtv@keet-tv.org. Information is also available at www.dtv2009.gov. A good site for antenna information iswww.tvfool.com.

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