North Carolina counties switch to digital TV
While television stations across the country will be required to switch from analog to digital broadcasts by Feb. 17, 2009, stations in five North Carolina counties have made the change early. Hanover, Bladen, Brunswick, Columbus and Pender counties are the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) test sites for how the transition may proceed after the deadline.
The FCC has had personnel in the five-county area since April, FCC spokesman Clyde Ensslin said in a statement. “The first overtures were made to local government organizations,” Ensslin said. “They were able to introduce this [transition plan] to local grassroots organizations, [such as libraries, social services, public safety agencies, schools and faith-based organizations,] that had communication infrastructure in place, that had been well established [and] were organizations that people in the community trusted.”
More than 300 public meetings were held to educate residents about the change, which requires households without cable or satellite TV to acquire analog-to-digital converter boxes to receive a signal. On the day of the transition, only one of 226 viewers who called the area’s four commercial stations with questions did not know about the transition.
More information about the North Carolina counties’ program is available at