Second DTV "Soft Test" Completed in New York

Stations temporarily disrupt analog programming Tuesday morning
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Related: The DTV Countdown – Complete Coverage of the DTV Transition

Video: The DTV Transition 101

New York broadcasters staged their second soft turnoff of their analog signals early Tuesday morning in an effort to educate viewers about the digital TV transition.

The test, which followed an earlier Oct. 28 soft turnoff, featured a two-minute shutdown of the normal analog feed between 6:57 and 6:59 am. To start the test, three beeps were heard, followed by a graphic message informing viewers that their television is not ready for the digital transition.  The message also directed viewers to www.dtv.gov, the federal government’s information site about the conversion, and to a toll-free helpline at 1-877 DTV-5353. It also told consumers that once they get a digital tuner, “You won’t miss a single show and you’ll get a better picture.”

The New York analog shut-off test, which included all the stations within the Metropolitan Television Alliance (MTVA), was organized by ION Media Networks and other broadcasters as part of a national “DTV Transition” testing campaign that also includes temporary analog shut-offs in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. and Hartford, Ct.

Tribune Broadcasting-owned WPIX, the CW affiliate broadcasting on analog Ch. 11 in New York, previewed the turnoff with a segment from reporter James Ford explaining the upcoming analog turnoff on Feb. 17, 2009 and what the options are for consumers with analog TVs that rely on rabbit ears or rooftop antennas. Through an on-screen graphic, WPIX also did a second-by-second countdown to the test. WPIX’s “PIX 11” bug remained visible in the lower-right-hand corner of the screen throughout the two-minute test.

Ford, who was doing a live standup at an electronics retailer, then came back on-screen to announce that the test was over. He urged viewers who saw the graphic to take steps to maintain their TV service.

“Come on in and get a converter box,” said Ford. “You’ll need to do it.”

Besides WPIX, other participating New York metropolitan area stations included:

·        WABC – TV (ABC, channel 7)

·        WCBS – TV (CBS, channel 2)

·        WFUT – TV (Univision, channel 68)

·        WLIW – TV (PBS, channel 21)

·        WNBC – TV (NBC, channel 4)

·        WNET – TV (PBS, channel 13)

·        WNJU – TV (Telemundo, channel 47)

·        WNYE – TV (NYC Media, channel 25)

·        WNYW – TV (Fox, channel 5)

·        WPXN – TV (ION Television, channel 31)

·        WWOR – TV (MyNetworkTV, channel 9)

·        WXTV – TV (Univision, channel 41)

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