Time to switch

Published 10:31 pm Thursday, June 11, 2009

Friday marks the end of the analog era for United States television.

The transition from analog to digital TV will be complete Friday, leaving some viewers without programming.

Despite the widespread publicity by the Federal Communications Commission and more than $2 billion being spent on the project, nearly 3 million people are expected to lose their TV signals.

This number has been cut in half since previous February deadline.

Subscribers to cable and satellite services will not be affected, but people who have older, analog TVs will lose reception unless they attach a digital-to-analog converter to their television.

Local sales of television sets and converter boxes have been affected by the approaching deadline.

April Lucas, sales representative at Handy TV Appliance, said they have sold many converter boxes.

“We actually sell every one we get in,” Lucas said. “We can’t keep them in.”

Lucas said she thinks that most people are aware of the switch, but expects to see sales increase after the deadline.

“I think we’re going to have a lot of angry customers,” Lucas said. “I don’t think they’re going to be happy.”

Lucas said a lot of customers do not understand that their small rabbit-ear antennas will not suffice.

Some local broadcast TV stations have already switched to the digital format.