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Analog Shut-Off Update from WTVP

Wednesday, February 12th, 2009



On February 11, President Obama signed into law the DTV Transition Deadline Bill, moving the nation’s official analog broadcasting shut-off date to June 12, 2009. However, WTVP will retire its analog broadcast signal at 11:59 p.m. on February 17, 2009, as originally mandated by the Digital Television and Public Safety Act of 2005. WTVP’s programming will continue unabated on digital channels 47.1, 47.2 and 47.3.

Now considered "early termination," WTVP is allowed to shut off the analog transmitter on February 17 because of documents filed with the Federal Communications Commission on January 21, 2009. WTVP is one of 368 stations nationwide—and one of four in the Peoria market— approved for early termination.

The decision to terminate the analog signal as previously scheduled by Congress was mandated purely by economics. It would cost WTVP approximately $40,000 extra in power costs alone to continue running the analog broadcast signal alongside the required digital broadcast. That amount does not include engineering or maintenance costs to failing equipment.

"We do not have that kind of money available," said WTVP President & CEO Chet Tomczyk. "The Board and staff feel that it would be irresponsible to put the station into that kind of financial hole in such troubling times, especially when such a decision could jeopardize our ability to provide public television services of any kind in the future."

As of 12 a.m. on Wednesday, February 18th, viewers should look exclusively to Digital Channel 47.1 for regular WTVP programming—now broadcast entirely in High Definition. WTVP’s PBS World service—the best in news, discovery and public affairs programming—will continue on Digital Channel 47.2. And WTVP Create—the best in how-to, lifestyle and adventure programming—will continue on Digital Channel 47.3. Viewers are encouraged to check with their cable or satellite providers for their channel designations.

WTVP is hosting a viewer helpline from 8 a.m. through the evening hours on Wednesday, February 18. We will make every attempt to answer general and specific questions, and will be able to refer callers to a number of further resources. We’d like to get all of our viewers through this change as smoothly as possible.

The best immediate options to get digital-ready include buying a digital-ready television set or purchasing a digital converter box without the benefit of the government-issue coupons. A new round of coupons has been promised, but there has been no indication of availability timelines yet, WTVP will keep the public updated through our airwaves and on WTVP.ORG as more information becomes available.


   View WTVP's FCC filing for "Notification of Suspension of Operations" filed on 2/05/2009  (1.2 MB)

For further information contact Chet Tomczyk, WTVP President & CEO (309) 677-4747 chet.tomczyk@wtvp.org

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