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Archive for Friday, January 16, 2009

Hawaii takes digital TV plunge

January 16, 2009

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— At noon sharp Thursday in Hawaii, a message appeared on analog TV sets across the islands: “All full power Hawaii TV stations are now digital.”

The state shut down old-fashioned broadcast signals, more than a month before the rest of the country is set to make the now-contentious switch.

Even before the change, residents lit up special TV help center phone lines set up by the Federal Communication Commission and broadcasters. More than 300 calls came in Wednesday, and 10 lines were lighting up Thursday.

On home screens, the shutdown message flashed for about a minute in white text on a blue background. Then, a seven-minute announcement video began a broadcast loop that will continue for several weeks on major island stations.

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