Stations Prepare For Soft Analog Shut-Off Test Thursday

Stations will simulate shut-off three times during the day
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Related: The DTV Countdown: Complete Coverage of the DTV Transition

The National Association of Broadcasters says stations are gearing up for tomorrow's soft analog shut-off test. All the networks and their owned stations are participating, as are stations in all but a handful of markets, according to the FCC's database, with the rest still "pending."

Most stations will simulate the analog shut-off--happening for real on June 12--three times during the day, airing either a text slate or a video explaining the transition. Generally the tests will come at 7:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., and will last from two to five minutes.

NAB says 400 stations have already conducted soft cut-off tests. According to Shermaze Ingram, NAB's senior director of media relations for the DTV transition, the tale of the DTV transition tape breaks down this way: 972 stations will transition on June 12, while 788 stations have already made the transition. Of those 788, 213 went before Feb. 17, the original analog cut-off date, 416 pulled the plug on Feb. 17, and 159 will have done so sometime between Feb. 17 and June 12.

The FCC said Tuesday that the test would be a "wake-up" call.

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