COPY-Wilmington To Become First Transition Test Market for DTV

WILMINGTON -- Wilmington will be the first market to switch to all-digital broadcasting.

The test is slated to begin Monday September 8, a week after Labor Day.

By law, all full-power TV stations need to terminate analog service on Feb. 17, 2009. FCC

Analog TV sets that rely exclusively on free over the air broadcasting will cease to function unless they are adapted to display digital signals.

The federal government plans to spend up to $1.5 billion to subsidize consumer acquisition of digital-to-analog converter boxes.

The program allows each household to receive two $40 coupons to defray converter box costs.

In theory, cable and satellite TV homes won't be affected by the transition unless they have analog TV sets not connected to one of the pay TV services.

WECT's Jim Hanchett will be in Washington Thursday when the FCC announces the full plans for the Early Big Switch in Wilmington.

He will have full details on WECT News Thursday evening.

To learn more about WECT's Big Switch, click here.