NAB Comments On DTV Transition Test In Wilmington, NC

If you’re reading this you probably already know that analog broadcast television, aka NTSC, is going away in February, 2009. Since no one is quite sure how the transition will go, the FCC has decided to run a test. Wilmington, NC is the lucky market, NTSC broadcasts will be turned off in September, 2008 – five months before the nationwide digital transition. The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) issued the following statement regarding the trial.

NAB Statement Regarding DTV Test Pilot in Wilmington, NC

Today the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced the creation of an experimental test market – the Wilmington, N.C. designated market area (DMA) – for the full-power television station transition to all-digital broadcasting. In the FCC experiment, full-power stations in the Wilmington market will shut off their analog signals on September 8, 2008 – a full five months before the national transition to digital television (DTV) occurs on February 17, 2009.

NAB’s Vice President of the Digital Television Transition Jonathan Collegio issued the following statement:

“The FCC-initiated experiment in Wilmington can shed light on a number of issues surrounding the national DTV transition in February 2009. The results must be objectively reviewed to determine how or whether the findings can be applied nationwide. NAB will be fully supportive of our local television broadcasters in this effort.

NAB hopes that this experiment will answer important questions that will help all parties ensure the success of the DTV transition, including:

* What is the coordination plan between the federal, state and local governments to distribute information about the September 8 experimental analog shut-off?
* How will the government ensure retailer coordination so that enough coupon-certified converter boxes will be available given the increased demand of the early shut-off date?
* In particular, what specific actions will the government take to ensure that retailers have “analog pass-through” converter boxes available, given the low-power television stations in the Wilmington market, including one major network affiliate?
* How will the government prioritize converter box coupon application requests originating from the Wilmington DMA, given the current national backlog of coupon requests?
* What action will the government take to ensure that national messaging or messaging from bordering markets about the February 17, 2009 transition date does not result in confusion in the Wilmington DMA?
* How will the government ensure that satellite operators accelerate their coordination schedule?
* How will the government ensure that cable operators serving the Wilmington market are prepared to coordinate an early analog shut-off and have they made plans to ensure viewability to analog television subscribers?

We look forward to working closely with our Wilmington stations, the FCC, the National Telecommunications & Information Administration and other parties as they move forward with this initiative.

Broadcasters nationwide have led the private-public partnership to ensure a successful DTV transition, committing more than $1 billion towards a multiplatform campaign to educate Americans.”

About is the official Web site of the National Association of Broadcasters’ digital television (DTV) transition campaign. Launched in January 2007, the DTV campaign’s mission is to ensure that no consumer is left unprepared, due to lack of information, for the February 17, 2009 federally-mandated transition from analog to digital broadcasting.

About NAB

The National Association of Broadcasters is the premier advocacy association for America’s broadcasters. As the voice of more than 8,300 radio and television stations, NAB advances their interests in legislative, regulatory and public affairs. Through advocacy, education and innovation, NAB enables broadcasters to best serve their communities, strengthen their businesses and seize new opportunities in the digital age. Learn more at

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  • Robm

    This experiment will be a very interesting event to watch. I am curious why the FCC chose the Wilmington, NC, market. And what makes it a good study case to use to evaluate the effect on the rest of the country.

  • Jeff Marquardt

    Wilmington viewers better get moving! It takes about 8 weeks to recieve a govenment $40 coupon from the time you order it! I’ll bet people will be lined up in front of bestbuy in august like they were for the PS3 before christmas! Good luck Wilmington.

  • Digital TV Converter Box

    Very nice site. I am looking forward to more on the subject of DTV.