The FCC held an open meeting yesterday to discuss updates around the upcoming broadcast digital TV transition. While the government hasn’t yet posted video of the meeting, statements from participants in the meeting are available online. Scanning through those documents, I found a few quirks that folks should be aware of on June 12th.
1. While 974 stations will make the final switch to all-digital broadcasting on June 12th, they won’t all do it at the same time. Some stations will transition between midnight and 6 AM, some between 6 AM and Noon, some between Noon and 6 PM, and close to half will wait until the time slot between 6 PM and 11:59:59 PM. Just because you can still see channels when you wake up in the morning, doesn’t mean you’ll be able to see them by the end of the day.
2. Ninety nine stations across the country are keeping an analog “Nightlight” on which will continue to broadcast information about the digital transition over an analog signal for 14-30 days after June 12th. Sixty four television markets will have at least one Nightlight station active.
3. Consumers with digital TV sets using an antenna or analog sets using a converter box must re-scan for channels on June 12th and again the next day. Apparently many stations will be moving from one frequency to another. All stations should be set in their final frequencies by June 13th.
4. Still having problems getting reception even after re-scanning for available channels? Make sure your antenna gets both VHF and UHF reception. Programming will be available in both frequency bands.