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After Long Wait, Stations Switch Off Analog

Television stations across the United States powered down their analog signals on Friday, hours ahead of the long-awaited midnight deadline for the country to switch to fully digital TV broadcasts.
Television stations across the United States powered down their analog signals on Friday, hours ahead of the long-awaited midnight deadline for the country to switch to fully digital TV broadcasts. The transition day was a tense one at some stations, as they ended analog broadcasts and awaited calls from viewers still confused by the changeover and others having reception problems. According to Nielsen, about 2.8 million homes are completely unprepared for the transition. An additional 9.5 million homes are only partly ready, meaning that they may have upgraded some of their TVs, but not all of them. These viewers may be surprised on Saturday to find their TVs unable to pick up signals. The National Association of Broadcasters said the early call volumes were “low to moderate,” but the phones were busier at stations in states with high numbers of unprepared homes. In Houston, one of the least prepared markets, stations reported an average of 675 calls through early afternoon. Most of the rest of the country is unlikely to notice the change. Cable and satellite customers are automatically prepared because they do not rely on over-the-air signals. Over-the-air homes either need to buy a digital converter box or use a TV with an internal digital tuner. The viewers may also need to adjust their antenna or buy a new antenna. The switch was staggered across the country, as some stations switched before dawn. Many others were planning to wait until 11:59 p.m.
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