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.