Michigan Almanac: May 2009 Archives

Michigan broadcasters will participate in a cooperative nationwide effort by conducting local "soft tests" to check to see if television viewers are prepared for the impending digital television transition. The tests will take place on Thursday, May 21, 2009 and are part of a concerted effort to make sure all citizens are prepared to make the transition on June 12, 2009.

Each television market in the state has worked together to coordinate a uniform time when the majority of stations will simulate (soft test) turning off their analog signal so citizens can check to see if they are ready to make the transition to digital TV. Additionally, many stations who have already transitioned or those who are technically unable to perform the simulation will run messages along the bottom of their screens to inform viewers of the test being conducted.

"Michigan television stations are to be congratulated for their continued efforts to best serve their communities," said Karole White, President and CEO of the Michigan Association of Broadcasters. "Our television broadcasters give a prime example of the cooperative efforts going on all over the nation in an effort to see that no viewer is left behind in the digital transition of television."

The federal government has mandated that all full-power analog TV stations shutdown their analog signals and broadcast only in a digital format after June 12, 2009. Viewers who watch TV on an analog set and that use an outdoor antenna or rabbit ears must act if they want to continue to receive free television after the transition date. One option is to install a converter box on your analog TV, which will convert the digital signal to analog. Viewers who have a paid TV service, such as cable or satellite, do not need to take any action because their provider will make the change for them.

Soft Test Times:

Detroit Metro Market: 12:25 p.m. (individual stations may run additional soft tests at 7:25 a.m. and 6:25 p.m.)

West Michigan Market: 12:25 & 6:25 p.m.

Lansing/Jackson Market: 12:25 p.m. (individual stations may run additional soft tests at 7:25 a.m. and 6:25 p.m.)

Flint/Tri-Cities Market: 7:25 a.m. & 6:25 p.m. (individual stations may run an additional soft test at 12:25 p.m.

Note: WSMH-TV will make the digital transition on Thursday, May 21, 2009 at 12:00 p.m.

Northern Michigan & UP Markets: 6:28 p.m.


Grand Rapids Press:

The transition to digital television is a mere two-and-a-half weeks away. Unlike the previous Feb. 17 target for the shift from analog TV, this deadline offers no excuses to the unprepared. The four-month delay from Congress bought procrastinators more time and offered everyone a second chance to receive a coupon for a converter box. Though a number of people will be left watching snow instead of their favorite show, the switch should proceed. On June 12, television stations across the country will begin broadcasting through a digital rather than an analog signal. For people who have cable or satellite television, the switch won't be a problem. Viewers who rely on rabbit ears or roof-top antennas and who do not have internal digital tuners in their current sets, will need converter boxes to continue to watch TV ... As part of the stimulus package, Congress authorized another $650 million for coupons and extended the deadline. The additional help has reduced the unprepared to 3.5 million -- a big number, yes, but significantly fewer than before. Those who remain digital-unready have been inundated with information and assistance. Coupons remain available, and the Federal Communications Commission will help install converter boxes on a case-by-case basis... Editorial: Digital TV switch should occur on schedule (Wed, 5/27)







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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Michigan Almanac category from May 2009.

Michigan Almanac: March 2009 is the previous archive.

Michigan Almanac: June 2009 is the next archive.

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