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Last week, most commercial stations in Fort Myers (the english language ones, anyway) ended analog transmission. WTVK 46 abruptly turned off at noon. WINK 11 made a live shot of turning off their transmitter, arguably the best way to go. The two Waterman Broadcasting stations switched to "nightlight" programming, which is a looping NAB-produced video about how wonderful DTV is. WBBH 20 went off at midnight Friday, WZVN 26 is still looping the video.
DXing background and all, this was a moment I chose to witness. I set up 5 monitors and 4 VCRs to capture the switch-offs on Feb. 17. I also used my camcorder, and this led to my first YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgnAQVg_rME . You may notice that the center monitor, hooked up to the converter box, keeps freezing and glitching on WBBH. Yes, this is the future, an unwatchable picture and dropped audio. Thanks for your public service, FCC.
Oh well, over-the-air viewers have been a write-off for decades, anyway. Those who can't afford/get cable in the fringe areas can be written off with a single sentence: "Some people had trouble converting, <TV station here> received phone calls from confused viewers all day." I can't image why they were upset.
As of now, WGCU 30 and WFTX 36 are the only full-power, English-language stations in this market. Miami, Tampa, and West Palm Beach didn't "switch" to nearly the extent we did.
For those who didn't think digital was a good idea, here are a few links you may enjoy:
DTV causing reception problems for antenna users - DL-Online
Man shoots television after DTV tantrum - KARE 11
Choppy DTV Countdown - YouTube
The Truth About HDTV Signal Strength Reception Issues - YouTube
Goodbye Analog TV - WOWT 6 (NBC) and KYNE 26 (PBS) in Omaha, NE Go Digital - YouTube
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