Wilmington Stations Prep For ‘Soft Test’ Ahead of DTV Transition

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Four broadcasters in Wilmington, N.C. will turn off their analog signals for one minute Tuesday, Aug. 19 as a “soft test” of that community's move to all digital broadcasting on Sept. 8.

Wilmington was selected by the Federal Communications Commission to test the analog switch-out that the rest of the country will undergo next February.

The stations, the ABC affiliate WWAY, Ch. 3; NBC affiliate WECT, Ch. 6; CBS affiliate WILM, Ch.10 and Fox affiliate WSFX, Ch. 26, will turn off their analog signal next Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. Consumers who have taken no action to upgrade to digital will see a message on their screens that says, “If you can see this message, this TV set needs to be upgraded to digital before Sept. 8 at noon ..to continue receiving television signals, upgrade to digital now with a converter box; a new television set with a digital tuner or by subscribing to a pay service like cable or satellite.”

According to Nielsen research, 8.8% of the Wilmington marketplace, or 15,450 homes, currently receive their television over the air.