Still Switching to Digital in Central Virginia

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The United States Congress has approved a bill that will delay the transition to digital television. TV stations now have until June 12, 2009 to transition into an all digital signal.

But commercial stations in Central Virginia, including NBC29, are switching as scheduled on February 17.

"We have elected to do what we've been saying we're going to do for over a year and we will cease analog broadcasting at 12:30 pm, in the middle of the midday news on February 17," said WVIR NBC29 General Manager Harold Wright.

The station will save nearly $40,000 by switching this month, rather than on June 12.

But what does this mean for you? That's a common question that employees hear at Crutchfield in Albemarle County.

"The main question is 'Will it affect me?' And what I try to tell people is that if you have cable or if you have satellite, it usually does not," said Shawn Pendleton, Crutchfield Senior Product Advisor.

But if you are using rabbit ears or an antennae to get your analog stations, you can get a new TV or get a converter box.

"It takes digital signals and converts it into an analog signal so that older televisions can keep working," said Pendleton.

About 610 people in the Charlottesville television market are still waiting on a government coupon for the converter box. That's out of nearly 80,000 TV sets.

"So less than one percent of the viewers would be benefited in any way by us continuing to broadcast until June the 12th," said Wright.

Reported by Christina Mora
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