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Officials Say Switch to Digital TV a Safety Issue


The nationwide switch to digital TV is about six weeks away. San Diego officials want residents to be aware of the safety implications if they’re not ready for the change. KPBS reporter Katie Orr explains.


On February 17th television broadcasters will only broadcast with a digital signal. Anyone using an older analog TV and an antenna won’t be able to receive programming without a converter box. San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders says the city uses television as a way to distribute information during a crisis, like recent wildfires.


Sanders: I think it was very obvious that people were glued to their TV’s to see what the road conditions were, to see what the conditions in their neighborhoods were. We referred people to the television to see where road closures where the fire was moving. And it would have been extremely difficult to get the information out if we hadn’t had the television stations.


It’s estimated about 100 thousand households in the San Diego area receive television through an antenna and they need a converter.


Katie Orr, KPBS News


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