Digital switch pushed back until June, though some stations no longer analog
The digital television switchover was pushed back until Jun. 12 after President Obama on Wednesday signed a Congressional bill authorizing delaying the switch.
But it won't matter for local viewers who still rely on an old-fashioned antenna as several Fargo stations have already switched off their analog broadcasts.
The local FOX and PBS affiliates turned off the analog signals a few weeks ago.
WDAY, which is the ABC affiliate in Fargo, will keep its analog signal up until Jun. 12.
But the NBC and CBS affiliates, KVLY and KXJB, that are operated by Hoak Media Corp. will turn off at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, said General Manager Charley Johnson.
The stations are still deciding if they will keep the analog signal going until the mandatory switch-off date. The FCC issued an order Friday that prohibited some stations that were planning on turning off their analog signal from doing so unless certain conditions were met.
Those conditions included having at least one analog station in any given local market broadcast news, public affairs programming and info on how to make the digital TV switch.
The digital TV conversion was delayed because of concerns that not enough viewers who rely on over-the-air signals had the needed digital converter box needed to receive the new signals.
Exacerbating the problem is that the government program to provide $40 coupons to buy a converter box to viewers who don't have a digital set, or don't have cable or satellite, ran out of money. New coupons are being sent out as the old ones expire, since each coupon is good for only 90 days.
The digital switchover does not affect television viewers who currently have cable or satellite, even those who have basic cable.
To apply for a digital TV converter box coupon, visit www.dtv2009.gov to get on the waiting list. Coupons are sent out on a first-come, first-served basis.