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Cox, Time Warner Cable to participate in DTV shutdown test

Thu, 12/11/2008 - 7:35am
Mike Robuck

In order to help subscribers be prepared for the federally-mandated shutdown of analog signals on Feb. 17, Cox Communications, Time Warner Cable and broadcast TV stations in the San Diego area will participate in a “soft shutdown” test on Wednesday.

The test is slated to occur simultaneously across all broadcasters’ channels at 6:58 p.m. on Wednesday and will last for two minutes.

The test will allow television audiences to see if their television sets are ready for the DTV transition and, if not, will inform them of the steps they need to take in order to receive the digital signals on Feb. 17. A second soft-shutdown test is slated for Wednesday, Jan. 14 at 6:58 p.m.

During the test, viewers who are using rabbit ear antennas to receive their signals will see a two-minute public service message about preparing for the digital transition. The message, which will include closed caption and Spanish SAP, will tell viewers what they need to do to continue watching broadcast television on that particular TV after the Feb. 17 digital transition switch.

It will also direct them to www.dtvanswers.com or 877-DTV-5353 for more information. Viewers watching broadcast TV on a television with a digital tuner or who are already hooked up to a pay TV service won’t see a disruption in their service during the test.

According to The Nielsen Company’s latest estimates, the San Diego market area has approximately 50,000 households that receive their television exclusively over the air.

In July, San Diego broadcasters and cable operators joined together as a public service to help educate consumers about the digital transition and how it may impact them. The two planned soft-shutdown tests for the San Diego region are a result of this partnership.

Broadcasters participating in next week’s test include local CBS, ABC, NBC, PBS, Fox, CW, MyTV, and Cox stations.

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