The switch to digital television signals is being delayed, but many Wisconsin broadcasters could stick to their original plans.
The change from analog to digital TV has been pushed off until June 12th. However, Wisconsin Broadcasters Association President Michelle Vetterkind expects many stations to discontinue analog broadcasts later this month, as planned.
The federal legislation approved by Congress gives broadcasters the option of sticking with the original February 17th conversion date, rather than waiting until June. Several Wisconsin TV stations have already announced their intent to go ahead with plans to end their analog broadcasts this month. Broadcasters only have until Monday to tell the FCC if they plan still to switch over this month.
Vetterkind says some stations just can't afford to wait until June to make the switch because of the high cost of broadcasting both digital and analog signals. She says most of them only budgeted for keeping their signal alive through the end of this month. There's also the risk that some analog broadcasting equipment won't make it to June.
Even with the delay, Vetterkind doubts all viewers will be ready for a later transition anyway. She says there are many people who will wait until their screens go dark before heading out to buy a converter box or television with a built-in digital tuner.