Hawaii throws the DTV switch on Thursday

While the incoming Obama administration is considering suspending the countdown for the nationwide switch to digital television, the 50th State is preparing to actually throw the switch on Thursday.

Hawaii's standard-strength broadcasters will power down their analog signals on January 15, in the first statewide test of the DTV transition. However, recently fine-tuned regulations stipulate that low-power (LP) analog broadcasters do not have to power down even after the nationwide February 17 deadline. That affects Hawaii more than most states, since several of the smaller islands are served by LP stations. One such station on Kau'ai, KESU Channel 6, is actually a radio station since the audio portion of Channel 6 has always been available on 87.7 MHz (that's true everywhere in the country). But KESU sometimes supplements its audio signal with a picture, making it one of the nation's only "semi-TV" stations, and it'll be allowed to keep its unusual format.

More information for Hawaii residents (assuming there are still some who don't already know) is available at HawaiiGoesDigital.com.

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