Boston TV Stations Participating in DTV Day Event

Boston TV stations and cable systems will hold a daylong DTV event Dec. 9 combining DTV education with soft analog cut-off tests, all under the auspices of a powerful congressman.

DTV Day, billed as "in conjunction" with Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), chairman of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, will go from 5 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

The event will consist of informational crawls on all the participating outlets--16 TV stations and 10 multichannel video providers--daylong DTV information on a single station--noncommercial WGBH--and three, two-minute virtual analog shut-down tests at 5:15 a.m., 6:15 a.m., and 5:15 p.m.

WGBH's role as a desgnated DTV eduation driver is unique to the market, said Boston broadcasters. Crawls on the other stations will direct viewers to WGBH, which will air a continuous alert for analog viewers telling them their set is not ready and listing a phone number for information. WGBH will also run continuously a half-hour This Old House episode, "Get Ready for Digital TV" in both English and Spanish.

Markey gave broadcasters a shout-out in the announcement of the event, while making it clear he was doing his part for the transition as well. 

"In order to ensure a smooth transition, I have been conducting extensive oversight of federal DTV transition efforts, and now I am pleased to join with the leadership of Boston’s television media to better inform our local community through this unique ‘DTV Day,'" he said. "Our local stations are showing an impressive dedication to serving their viewers by cooperating on this DTV outreach effort. I am proud that the Boston market can be an example across the country.”

All full-power TV stations are required to cut off their ananlog signals and go all-digital by February 17, 2009.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.