At noon on September 8, Wilmington-area TV stations successfully began broadcasting only in digital to viewers in New Hanover, Bladen, Brunswick, Columbus and Pender counties. This change applies to WWAY (ABC), WSFX-TV (FOX), WECT (NBC),WILM-LP (CBS) and W51CW (Trinity Broadcasting). The rest of the nation will make the switch to digital on February 17, 2009.
The FCC called the switch a success. Click here to read their press release.
Read the press release from the FCC announcing the Big Switch event.
Watch the press conference and see the switch as it happened!
The digital television (DTV) transition affects those who watch free over-the-air television through a rooftop antenna or “rabbit ears.” If you watched over-the-air programs on an analog TV, you must buy a digital-to-analog converter box, buy a digital television or subscribe to a paid TV service such as cable or satellite. You should not need a new antenna if you get good quality reception on analog Channels 2 through 51 with your existing antenna.
Digital-to-analog converter boxes are available in stores for a one-time cost of between $40 and $70. To ease the cost of the switch, the federal government is offering two $40 coupons per household. For more information on the coupons, visit www.dtv2009.gov or call 1-888-388-2009 (voice) or 1-877-530-2634 (TTY).
Need help with your converter box? Elderly, disabled or other special needs consumers who need help hooking up a converter box for the switch to digital TV may call 798-4DTV (798-4388). City, county and volunteer firefighters are taking part in a program to assist special-needs television viewers install the converter box, and will also check smoke detectors and offer other fire and life safety information.
The FCC has staff available to help people understand how to make the transition to DTV. Residents may contact Lauren Kravetz at (202) 904-7747.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE DIGITAL TRANSITION
CALL 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322) (voice)
or 1-888-TELL-FCC (1-888-835-5322) (TTY)
OR GO TO www.dtv.gov/wilmington
FOR INFORMATION ABOUT CONVERTERS AND COUPONS
CALL 1-888-388-2009 (voice)
or 1-877-530-2634 (TTY)
OR GO TO www.dtv2009.gov