Hawaii first state to make DTV switch


POSTED: Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Hawaii's full-power television broadcasters will convert to all-digital broadcasts more than a month ahead of the rest of the nation, on Jan. 15, 2009. The rest of the country makes the so-called DTV transition Feb. 17.





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Hawaii will be the first state to undergo the transition. An earlier transition in Wilmington, N.C., was not statewide.

Hawaii's full-power TV stations, including network affiliates and independent stations, will cease analog broadcasting at noon on Jan. 15.

With the exception of residents on Kauai, households that receive TV signals over the air will need to connect a converter box to sets in order to continue watching TV. Kauai receives over-the-air television signals via low-power translators that are not affected by the DTV transition.

The federal government offers up to two coupons per household for discounts on the purchase of converter boxes that will be required for television sets receiving TV over the air. Coupons and further information may be obtained by calling 1-888-DTV-2009 or online at

Households receiving TV via cable or satellite services will not be affected.

As reported Friday by the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, the broadcasters made the decision to go early in response to wildlife officials' concerns for the safety of the Hawaiian dark-rumped petrel.

The decision has received all necessary approvals.

By making the switch early, the broadcast towers atop Haleakala near the birds' nesting grounds, can be dismantled without interfering with the petrels' nesting season.

The earlier transition will also enable Hawaii to be the focus of attention of the Federal Communications Commission, the National Association of Broadcasters and other agencies and organizations, should problems arise with the analog to digital conversion.

“;The early transition to DTV has the support and attention of Senator Daniel Inouye, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, the Federal Communications Commission, the National Association of Broadcasters, the Hawaii Association of Broadcasters and its member stations in a focused effort to educate the public about the transition,”; said Chris Leonard, President of the Hawaii Association of Broadcasters, in a statement. “;It will also serve as a model for the rest of nation as they make their transition in February,”; Leonard added.