Digital Transition

Last night, the transition from analog to all-digital television began. Becky and I watched it until the gory end. We watched our PBS station on channel 9 drop off, and within a couple of minutes, all the locals (except channel 5) disappear. Channel 5 appears to be acting as a “night light” station, broadcasting DTV transition information. I have no idea how long that’ll last.

However, there were still a lot of stations on the air. Some were broadcasting DTV transition info, and others were still transmitting regular programming. With the St. Louis stations out of the way, I was able to see some stations that I ordinarily couldn’t have because of the locals. It was nice to see some of those before they disappeared.

It’s been my theory that once the US analog stations were gone, it would clear the path to seeing analog stations from both Mexico and Canada with greater ease. I could have been more right. Within a few minutes of the local channel 2 switching their analog signal off, I started seeing XEPM out of Mexico (near Las Cruces). Cool.

I stayed up until about 2.15am, spinning the antenna, looking for fresh signals.

This morning, there were still quite a few analog stations up and running, much to my surprise. And this morning, I was treated to another opening, this time to the Atlantic coast — Charleston, Daytona Beach and Charlotte. Once again, if the locals had been on, I would never have seen any of it. For all I know, signals have always been like this, I just couldn’t see ’em. I even saw some signals from Canada this morning.

Tonight — in theory, the last night of analog broadcasting — almost every station is gone. I’ve seen a few signals from Mexico, and a couple of locals, but most of the analog signals are gone. However, there’s still one stubborn station, WSIL, sitting on channel 3, running normal broadcasting. I’m a little surprised at that, and am wondering when they’ll turn out the lights.

Transition has been fun, and if the signals from Mexico and Canada have been any indication, there could some real fun to come!