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KPBS Tests Analog Shutdown on December 17 at 6:58 p.m.

KPBS JOINS SAN DIEGO BROADCASTERS, CABLE OPERATORS TO PARTICIPATE IN DTV SOFT-SHUTDOWN TEST

DECEMBER 17, 2008 AT 6:58 PM

Simulation Allows Television Audience to Test Readiness for Transition to Digital Television Taking Place in February 2009

San Diego, California, Dec. 10, 2008 – To help viewers be prepared for the federally mandated shutdown of television analog signals on Feb. 17, 2009, KPBS and all over-the-air, full-power broadcast television stations in San Diego will participate in a soft-shutdown of the analog signal. In partnership with Cox Communications and Time Warner Cable, the test will occur on KPBS as well as simultaneously across all broadcasters’ channels at 6:58 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2008, and will last for two minutes.  The test will allow television audiences to see if their television set(s) are ready for the DTV transition, and if not, will inform them of the steps they must take. A second soft-shutdown test will be conducted Wednesday, Jan. 14 at 6:58 p.m.

NOTE: This test only affects over the air viewers. This includes homes that use “rabbit ears” or a rooftop antenna. If you watch television with a cable box or a digital tuner will not be affected by this test.

At exactly 6:58:00 p.m. on Dec. 17, viewers watching broadcast television over the air (using “rabbit ears” or a rooftop antenna) will see a two-minute public service message about preparing for the digital transition.  The message, which will include Closed Caption and Spanish SAP, will tell viewers what they need to do to continue watching broadcast television on that particular TV after the Feb. 17 digital transition switch. It will also direct them to www.dtvanswers.com or 877-DTV-5353 for more information.  Viewers watching broadcast TV on a television with a digital tuner or who are already hooked up to a pay TV service will continue to see the regularly scheduled programming since those televisions are already “ready” for the digital transition.

While recent reports indicate that the viewing public is learning about the transition, many have not yet taken any of the actions that will be required in order to continue viewing television after the conversion.  According to The Nielsen Company’s latest estimates, the San Diego DMA has approximately 50,000 households that receive their television exclusively over the air.

In July, San Diego broadcasters and cable providers joined together as a public service to help educate consumers about the digital transition and how it may impact them. The two planned soft-shutdown tests for the San Diego region are a result of this partnership.

The DTV transition will enable consumers to receive a clearer picture, better sound and receive multiple channels from their local over-the-air broadcasters. The shutdown of the analog signal will allow for greater capacity on the airwaves for law enforcement and other emergency service providers.

DTV 101: Consumers who receive their television over the air – with an antenna on their roof or a “rabbit ears” set-up – must take one of three steps in order to continue to receive a signal after February 17, 2009:

1. Purchase a digital converter box (a coupon is available from the government to offset the cost);

2. Hook their television up to cable or another paid television service;

3. Buy a new digital-ready television.

Participating stations:

KFMB 8 (CBS)

KGTV 10 (ABC)

KNSD 7/39 (NBC)

KPBS 11/15 (PBS)

KSWB 5/69 (FOX)

KUSI 9/51 (Independent)

XDTV 13 (MyTV)

XETV 6 (CW)

Channel 4 San Diego (COX)

Supporting Partners:

California Broadcasters Association

Cox Communications

Time Warner Cable

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