A day of reckoning has arrived. The End Of Analog TV In The United States. - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 255 Old 06-11-2009, 11:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Update 6/16/09


June 12, 2009.

As readers at AVS have been following for years, the long awaited end of analog television has arrived. Salient facts follow.

- All full power US analog television stations will discontinue regular broadcasting on June 12, 2009. The exact time this occurs on June 12th will vary widely by station and location.

- Most all of these stations have been on the air with Digital TV (DTV) broadcasts for quite some time, some for over a decade.

- There will be approximately less than 30 analog stations that will not be broadcasting DTV on June 12th, and thus will go off the air. The exact number of these stations that will not ever broadcast DTV is undetermined at this time.

- Low power US television stations will continue to broadcast analog television.

- A total of 118 stations in 85 television market areas will continue to broadcast an analog signal. This signal is called the 'analog nightlight program'. Regular programming will not be seen. Only DTV transition and emergency information will be transmitted. The analog nightlight program will end no longer than 30 days after June 12, 2009. Here is the list of analog nightlight stations:
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_publi...-09-1303A2.pdf

- For those near Canadian analog television stations, they will continue broadcasting until August 31, 2011. As one might expect after the US DTV transition experience, this date may be subject to change.

- Estimates of US TV households not ready to receive DTV vary from 2.8 million (Nielsen) to 2.2 million (SmithGeiger) to 1.75 million (NAB). This is compared to Nielsen's estimate of 5.8 million in February.

- The FCC will have 4,000 call agents on hand and more than 200 staff members across the country to assist with the transition. For assistance, call 888-CALL-FCC (888-225-5322) or go to www.dtv.gov.

- Local TV stations will also be prepared to assist local viewers with DTV transition issues. Call them directly for support.

- If you have cable tv or satellite TV (DirecTV or Dish Network), the end of analog TV will not affect you. If you have a problem with your TV reception, contact your TV provider using the phone number on your monthly bill.

- The key to receiving DTV is that you'll need one piece of equipment, in addition to your existing TV and antenna: A DTV receiver. Older TV's will work fine for DTV, if you have the DTV receiver. Your existing antenna may also work fine, or you may need to upgrade it for DTV reception. Only after you try a DTV receiver in your home will you know if your existing antenna will work properly or not.

- There is a special class of DTV receivers called Coupon Eligible Converter Box (CECB) that is specifically designed to work with older analog TV's. Here is an AVS topic with opinions on the best and worst CECB's:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1029256

- CECB's are eligible for purchase using a $40 government coupon provided to all US households that apply. Each household is eligible for two coupons. Contact the FCC to apply for your coupons: 888-CALL-FCC (888-225-5322) or go to www.dtv.gov. In most cases, CECB's cost less than $60 at retail or online. After the $40 coupon, the net cost is usually less than $20.

- A CECB will not provide HDTV output. If you have an HDTV without a DTV receiver built into it, you should be looking at a DTV receiver with HDTV output. Here is a topic with a list of current, and previously available, DTV receivers with HDTV output, which are known as HDTV STB's (set-top-boxes):
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=179095

- And as always, AVS offers readers and members a plethora of information on DTV issues, including converter boxes, antennas, set up and reception tips, and related information. Here are the key places to start:

New To Digital TV reception? Start here:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=611957

HDTV Technical Forum, which includes topics on indoor antennas, outdoor antennas, do it yourself antennas, other DTV reception hardware like preamps, antenna rotors, set up, etc.:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forum...aysprune=&f=25

Coupon Eligible Converter Box (CECB) Forum, which includes topics on specific CECB units, FAQ's, new digital 'subchannels' available with a CECB, etc.:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forumdisplay.php?f=186

And finally, 'Stories of the Digital TV Transition' - What happened in your area when analog TV went off the air.
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...8#post16631948


Additional information:

- Concurrent with the transition, some DTV stations are changing their digital broadcast channel number. If you are an existing DTV viewer, and are now having issues receiving stations you previously received, one possible solution is to do a rescan on your Digital TV receiver. This applies to both CECB's or HDTV STB. In some cases you may have to completely delete all stations, unplug the unit, and do a new set up from scratch. See unit specific topics in the CECB Forum and the HDTV Technical Forum.

- Concurrent with the transition, a number of DTV stations moved from their temporary channel number, in some cases on the UHF band 14 and higher, to their permanent channel number on VHF channels 13 and lower. A problem can occur when the antenna being used is a UHF only model; the VHF station may not be picked up. In those cases, an antenna with VHF capability must be added and its signal combined with the UHF antenna, or a combination VHF/UHF antenna must be used. See the HDTV Locals Forum for info on DTV final channel assignments and individual topics for local TV markets across the country:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forumdisplay.php?f=45

- For Windows Media Center / Digital TV users, here is a topic with helpful information:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1155014

From the FCC

WASHINGTON, D.C - Consumers having difficulty receiving certain television
channels following the June 12 transition to digital TV should try these two tips for better
reception: double rescanning, and double-checking and relocating their antennas. Meanwhile,
local broadcasters are working to resolve those issues that originate with their signal.

Double Rescanning
Many consumers already know about the need to run the scan function on their digital
converter boxes or digital TV sets periodically following the June 12 digital TV transition.
Scanning searches for and remembers the available digital broadcast channels.
But in some cases where stations moved their digital frequencies on June 12, simple
scanning may not be enough. There is a procedure - sometimes called double re-scanning -
that can clear your box's memory of saved channels. These earlier scans may have saved channel
information that is now incorrect.
There are five simple steps to a double re-scan for a converter box or digital TV, which
are as follows:
1. Disconnect the antenna from the box or digital TV
2. Re-scan the box or digital TV without the antenna connected. As with any scan
follow the on-screen instructions or owner's manual for your device
3. Unplug the box or digital TV from the electrical outlet for at least one minute
4. Reconnect the antenna to the box or digital TV and plug the unit into the electrical
outlet.
5. Rescan the box or digital TV one more time.

Double Check & Relocate Your Antenna
You must have a VHF/UHF antenna. Rabbit ears, rods, or other elements are needed
to pick up channels 2-13 (VHF), and a circle, bow-tie, or other element is needed to pick up
channels 14-51 (UHF). Some antennas marketed as HDTV antennas don't perform well on VHF
channels; some antennas are VHF or UHF-only.
For the best reception of channels 2-6, extend the rods all the way out. For the best
reception of channels 7-13, reduce the length of the rods to 12-18 inches.

Location, Location, Location
The location of an indoor antenna is key. And one of the most popular spots for indoor
antennas - on top of the TV - may not be the best. Consumers having trouble with digital TV
reception should try moving their antennas to one of these locations:
Near a window
As high as possible
Away from other electronic equipment, including computers, VCRs, DVD
players, converter boxes, and the television itself
Change the direction the antenna is facing
Rooftop antennas may be needed in some instances
Consumers may need to run the scan function again on their converter boxes after
moving the antenna

'Better Living Through Modern, Expensive, Electronic Devices'

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post #2 of 255 Old 06-11-2009, 11:47 PM
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Another salient fact. Many markets have already converted to digital only. A few test markets and part (all?) of Hawaii did so before the Feb '09 cutoff date. Many markets, including mine, did the shutdown back in February, the supposid last shutdown date.

The last full power analog station in my market (forced to stay on by the FCC) is pushing the remote off button (no on-air special programming) at 11:59pm. So, we've really been digital in this market since February. The sky didn't fall back then either.

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post #3 of 255 Old 06-11-2009, 11:50 PM
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I'm looking forward to the switch in our market, Cleveland, where all the big stations are shutting off at 10 AM.

In that mix, we get two flash cuts (Fox 8 from RF 31 to RF 8 digital, ION 23 from no digital/23 analog to 23 digital). We already have the NBC affiliate on a big new signal, and ditto with PBS out of Cleveland.

Speaking of high-VHF digital, Ken...if you're still up or read later, how's WTVG doing for you since going to RF 13?
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post #4 of 255 Old 06-12-2009, 12:15 AM
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I'm excited. I have a SDTV set up with rabbit ears to watch it happen. Here in Cleveland, the major stations go off at 10AM. Univision at 11pm and one PBS goes off at 11:59.

I'm wondering if anything special will happen. Nothing as of now, I was expecting some kind of non stop information on the analog channels, but it seems to be business as usual.
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post #5 of 255 Old 06-12-2009, 12:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inundated View Post


Speaking of high-VHF digital, Ken...if you're still up or read later, how's WTVG doing for you since going to RF 13?

Reception of WTVG-DT Toledo ABC (an ABC O&O) is better than ever. It switched from UHF 19 to VHF 13. A very strong, stable signal. ABC HD is 720p, LiveWell HD is still 480i, along with 13 Weather Now.

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post #6 of 255 Old 06-12-2009, 01:01 AM
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How can I find out in SF & Sacramento going off at 11.59 pm...
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post #7 of 255 Old 06-12-2009, 01:03 AM
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And what a great day it is!
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post #8 of 255 Old 06-12-2009, 01:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarioMania View Post

How can I find out in SF & Sacramento going off at 11.59 pm...

As from above: The exact time this occurs on June 12th will vary widely by station and location.

You could always check the local topic for your area, to see if anyone knows the specific time. It may have already happened for some stations, others may not stop analog until 11:59pm.

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post #9 of 255 Old 06-12-2009, 01:20 AM
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thanks...
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post #10 of 255 Old 06-12-2009, 03:09 AM
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We have three Radio Shacks my area. Today I stopped at one to pick up a toy I wanted and the fellow behind the counter told me in the last two days (Wed / Thurs) he sold 256 Converter Boxes.

Talk about waiting to the last moment!
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post #11 of 255 Old 06-12-2009, 04:01 AM
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I'm happy to hear that Canadian television will still be analog for another couple of years. DXing, to me, is more fun with analog. Last night a Canadian channel 2 came in reasonably well in this part of Virginia for 10-15 minutes.
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post #12 of 255 Old 06-12-2009, 04:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlbuquerqueJohn View Post

We have three Radio Shacks my area. Today I stopped at one to pick up a toy I wanted and the fellow behind the counter told me in the last two days (Wed / Thurs) he sold 256 Converter Boxes.

Talk about waiting to the last moment!

We know better, but virtually all PSAs have described it as "switching to digital" implying nothing was available on digital UNTIL the analog shut down.

The message should have been "Hey, we're digital now (have been for years); we're shutting off analog on 6/12."

For the general public, knowing only what PSAs told them, there was no incentive to hurry.
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post #13 of 255 Old 06-12-2009, 07:08 AM
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Good luck to everyone, whether you are making all the magic happen, or are sitting in a chair at home rescanning. Hopefully every single antenna makes it through the big day. If not, don't smash your TV with a hammer. (That won't do it)
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post #14 of 255 Old 06-12-2009, 07:23 AM
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Some stats on digital channel moves for today that I calculated from Falcon_77's very useful spreadsheet which is available on Trip's equally useful website (and possibly getting overloaded today): http://www.rabbitears.info/ss/. The numbers are approximate because they may be oversights in all the station channel move permutations or a few stations may shut down their analog today, but won't fire up a digital broadcast.

On or just before June 12:
190 stations will move their digital broadcast from UHF to VHF: 167 to upper VHF (7-13), 23 to low VHF (2-6).
324 stations will flash cut to their analog channel.
~355 stations in total will change their digital broadcast channel.
When the dust settles, 541 stations will be digitally broadcasting on their former analog channel.

One of the big questions about today is how many will have problems getting upper VHF digital stations because a) they brought a UHF only antenna years ago for digital or b) the station's upper VHF digital broadcast power is not effectively matching their analog upper VHF coverage. I get four stations that are switching to upper VHF in the DC and Baltimore markets and one of them, WBAL-DT NBC 11 in Baltimore will be operating at only 5 kW digitally compared to 316 kW analog. It is going to be interesting to see how many people will lose WBAL after this afternoon.
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post #15 of 255 Old 06-12-2009, 07:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by afiggatt View Post

Some stats on digital channel moves for today that I calculated from Falcon_77's very useful spreadsheet which is available on Trip's equally useful website (and possibly getting overloaded today): http://www.rabbitears.info/ss/. The numbers are approximate because they may be oversights in all the station channel move permutations or a few stations may shut down their analog today, but won't fire up a digital broadcast.

On or just before June 12:
190 stations will move their digital broadcast from UHF to VHF: 167 to upper VHF (7-13), 23 to low VHF (2-6).
324 stations will flash cut to their analog channel.
~355 stations in total will change their digital broadcast channel.
When the dust settles, 541 stations will be digitally broadcasting on their former analog channel.

One of the big questions about today is how many will have problems getting upper VHF digital stations because a) they brought a UHF only antenna years ago for digital or b) the station's upper VHF digital broadcast power is not effectively matching their analog upper VHF coverage. I get four stations that are switching to upper VHF in the DC and Baltimore markets and one of them, WBAL-DT NBC 11 in Baltimore will be operating at only 5 kW digitally compared to 316 kW analog. It is going to be interesting to see how many people will lose WBAL after this afternoon.

I did a scan this am and got 41 channels (including subchannels) for the Baltimore - Washington-Harrisburg market. I will do another scan tonight after the switch and post the results here. Hopefully, I will still get 41 channels, but who knows.
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post #16 of 255 Old 06-12-2009, 07:45 AM
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So anyone got any changges already completed, and also what times are Baltimore, DC, Harrisburg, NYC, Going to be Shutting their Analog down?
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post #17 of 255 Old 06-12-2009, 07:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LMolineux View Post

So anyone got any changges already completed, and also what times are Baltimore, DC, Harrisburg, NYC, Going to be Shutting their Analog down?

Many stations appear to have settled on around 12 noon and early afternoon as the shutdown time and to move their digital RF channel if they are doing that. But some stations have already shut down early this morning, some (mainly those whose analog channel is not blocking any digital channel moves) will stay on the air until the bitter end at 11:59:59 PM local time.

118+ nightlight stations will keep a analog broadcast with a repeated information video loop going until June 26 or July 12.
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post #18 of 255 Old 06-12-2009, 08:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by afiggatt View Post

Many stations appear to have settled on around 12 noon and early afternoon as the shutdown time and to move their digital RF channel if they are doing that. But some stations have already shut down early this morning, some (mainly those whose analog channel is not blocking any digital channel moves) will stay on the air until the bitter end at 11:59:59 PM local time.

118+ nightlight stations will keep a analog broadcast with a repeated information video loop going until June 26 or July 12.

I wonder if my Hobby being DX'ing will be enhanced a bit or i will be sorta screwed.
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5, 8, 19, 43, 55 Cleveland all went off the air at 10AM. 3 is still on broadcasting DTV transition information. It's so strange to flip through the channels on the analog TV and just get fuzz. Wow. We've witnessed TV history.
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post #21 of 255 Old 06-12-2009, 08:48 AM
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I'm trying to keep up, but since I'm working at WDBJ, I'm also answering phones. My numbers might be delayed; I'm trying to update as their transitions are confirmed.

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post #22 of 255 Old 06-12-2009, 08:55 AM
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Yes Im gonna miss the Ol Analog "skip" nights. they still happen in digital but u have to rescan and its just a pain unlike analog u pushed channel up and u got fuzz or some station 100+ miles away.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken H View Post

It may have already happened for some stations, others may not stop analog until 11:59pm.

Here in New York, we still have all the stations. Some of the channels like FOX and NBC have a notice on the bottom saying it will shut off at 11:59pm. I'm assuming since the other channels like CBS, PBS, etc haven't shut off yet, they're probably all going to wait at that same time as well. Sigh! Why are they waiting till the last minute?!
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post #24 of 255 Old 06-12-2009, 09:06 AM
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Philly's shutoff will largely happen in the 12 Noon hour today.

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post #25 of 255 Old 06-12-2009, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by kenny9966 View Post

Yes Im gonna miss the Ol Analog "skip" nights. they still happen in digital but u have to rescan and its just a pain unlike analog u pushed channel up and u got fuzz or some station 100+ miles away.

still can on some CECB

look in menu for manual tuning where you scroll through all the channel numbers and if there is a signal it will show.
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post #26 of 255 Old 06-12-2009, 09:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickdawg View Post

5, 8, 19, 43, 55 Cleveland all went off the air at 10AM. 3 is still on broadcasting DTV transition information. It's so strange to flip through the channels on the analog TV and just get fuzz. Wow. We've witnessed TV history.

23 here (ION Network) also has abandoned analog, flash-cutting to digital 23.

3 will do the nightlight thing for two weeks.

I have no "dedicated" analog tuner anymore, so I have to scan for analog on my digital sets (with analog tuning) and my USB HDTV tuner with an analog side.

And yes, it's odd to see the channel scan come up without 5, 8, 19, 23, 43 and 55 in analog...and to tune to 3 and not see NBC programming.

My HDTV set in my main viewing room now has analog 3's nightlight, then all the locals in digital without the analog side interspersed in the list.
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post #27 of 255 Old 06-12-2009, 09:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by afiggatt View Post

Many stations appear to have settled on around 12 noon and early afternoon as the shutdown time and to move their digital RF channel if they are doing that. But some stations have already shut down early this morning, some (mainly those whose analog channel is not blocking any digital channel moves) will stay on the air until the bitter end at 11:59:59 PM local time.

118+ nightlight stations will keep a analog broadcast with a repeated information video loop going until June 26 or July 12.

Seems like most of the major networks here are doing it sometime between 12:00 noon and 1:00 PM. That way they can hammer the point home during the Noon News to make sure people know.

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post #28 of 255 Old 06-12-2009, 09:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnpost View Post

still can on some CECB

look in menu for manual tuning where you scroll through all the channel numbers and if there is a signal it will show.

The Zenith/Insignia box works like this.
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post #29 of 255 Old 06-12-2009, 09:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnS-MI View Post

The message should have been "Hey, we're digital now (have been for years); we're shutting off analog on 6/12."

And all along, stations should have been promoting their digital channels and telling people, "You can get our digital programs and/or extra (sub)channels for free if you have an antenna and a TV with a digital tuner, or an old TV with a DTV tuner. And if your TV is an HDTV, you'll see a lot of those programs in HD!"

I switched to DTV in May 2005, and for most of the time since then, those digital channels were an un-promoted "secret" as far as the general public is concerned. The only people who knew about them were enthusiasts like us.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kenny9966 View Post

Yes Im gonna miss the Ol Analog "skip" nights. they still happen in digital but u have to rescan and its just a pain unlike analog u pushed channel up and u got fuzz or some station 100+ miles away.

You just have to have the right tuner or converter box. On my Zenith DTT901 converter box, I can use the "add channels manually" option in the menus to click through RF channels and see what's there.

Just this morning when I was re-scanning after my local stations changed their digital channels, I found a station in Winston-Salem NC, over 150 miles, and one that I'd never seen before, out of Greeneville TN, over 110 miles and on the other side of the Blue Ridge, two states away. For someone like me who grew up with analog TV, it's mind-boggling to see crystal-clear video from those distances, even if only briefly.
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post #30 of 255 Old 06-12-2009, 09:24 AM
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Set up some SDTVs last night to watch the Memphis signals drop.

WHBQ Fox 13 shut off about 12:00AM
WMC NBC 5 shut off about 12:01AM
WREG CBS 3 was still running when I left the house this morning @ 8:00AM
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