3 local stations make digital switch despite delay

By Sheldon Dutes  bio | email

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - WTAT (Fox 24), SCETV (PBS) and My Network TV are the only local television stations in the Charleston viewing area that will be making the digital switch this week along with hundreds of other stations nationwide.

More than 600 television stations across the United States have already made the switch from analog to digital even though Congress had pushed the original deadline back four months.

For years, February 17, 2009 was the planned date, however, lawmakers decided on the delay when they realized many viewers wouldn't be ready for the switch in time.

When funding ran out for coupons to subsidize TV converter boxes, Congress got concerned that viewers wouldn't be ready and the deadline was postponed four months until June 12th.

At the same time, however, lawmakers left the door open to television stations to keep the February 17th date and hundreds of stations across the U.S., inlcuding 3 local stations, still plan to turn off their analog switches this week.

No one knows for sure how many viewers will be affected. TV stations making the switch this week who were contacted by the Associated Press said they're confident their viewers are ready, despite the confusion.

Live 5 news (WCSC), WCIV (ABC) and WCBD (NBC) won't make the digital switch for another four months when they officially switch to digital on June 12th.

There are coupons to help cut the cost of a converter box. If you have cable or satellite, you won't be affected by the switch. For more information head to the Big Switch section of our web channel or call 1-888-225-5322.