Many Low Income, Elderly, Rural and Disadvantaged Citizens in Danger of Losing Their Television Signals After February 17, 2009
Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) President & CEO Karole White was scheduled to tell state lawmakers this morning that tens of thousands of Michigan citizens will lose their television signals after February 17, 2009 as a result of the shift to digital television (DTV) if they do not take action. White will testify before a state house committee.
"We are particularly concerned about 600,000 households in Michigan currently receiving television through rooftop or set top antennas," said White. Many of these citizens are low income, elderly, rural and disadvantaged residents and depend on television for news and emergency information."
Under federal law, all full-power television stations will turn off their traditional analog broadcast signals on February 17, 2009 and broadcast only in the newer digital standard. To receive the digital format, citizens need to either subscribe to cable, satellite or telephone company video services; purchase a new television with a built in digital tuner; or install a converter box on their existing television.
The MAB is concerned that many of the 600,000 over-the-air households will either be unaware of or unable financially to take the steps needed in order to continue to receive television signals when analog broadcasting ceases next February.
"MAB has an aggressive DTV consumer awareness program, but we need help to ensure that no citizen is left behind in the DTV transition," said White.