Retirement Living Hosts DTV Transition Confab

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Retirement Living Television on Aug. 7 will host a town hall meeting in Wilmington, N.C., targeting seniors with information on the early digital transition market there.

Wilmington, the nation’s 135th largest TV market, according to Nielsen, has been chosen by the Federal Communications Commission to convert from analog to digital broadcasting ahead of the rest of the country. 

They will make the move on Sept. 9 rather than on Feb. 17, 2009.

Officials are especially focused on getting transition information into the hands of seniors because they tend to be heavily represented among homes that still receive TV over the air and will have to be proactive -- subscribing to cable or satellite, or buying a converter box --  to continue to receive broadcast signals.

FCC chairman Kevin Martin and commissioner Michael Copps have both agreed to participate in the meeting, slated to be held at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo, NTIA senior adviser David Murray, local station WECT vice president Gary McNair, Tom Adam, regional vice president of operations, Time Warner Cable and RLTV vice president of strategic development Patrick Baldwin are also expected to attend.

“According to a recent RLTV national poll, 85% of adults have heard about the February 2009 transition to digital television, but of those adults, nearly one in four seniors (23%) remain unaware of this upcoming transition,” said Baldwin.

He added that although the FCC has made “significant progress” in its informational effort, programs to increase awareness must be more attentive to the senior citizen demographic.