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Broadcast Digital Transition

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Broadcast Digital Transition

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Recently, the United States Congress voted to change the date of the broadcast digital transition from February 17, 2009 to June 12, 2009. President Obama signed the legislation on Wednesday, February 11, 2009 officially changing the date.

The NJCTA and its member companies will continue to work as they have for more than a year to ensure the smoothest possible transition. Our focus has been and continues to be on making sure that the transition is seamless for our customers, and that New Jersey residents and the legislature are aware of any steps they need to take to address the transition.

The content of this section has been updated to reflect the new transition date.

With the nation's broadcast TV stations now preparing to switch to an all digital system in 2009, the U.S. cable industry has launched an extensive consumer education campaign - including TV advertising valued at $200 million - to alert cable and non-cable viewers about the change.

Beginning on June 12, 2009, over-the-air television stations will broadcast in a digital-only format. This means that millions of analog TV sets will no longer display broadcast TV signals unless they are connected to cable, another video service, or to a special digital-to-analog converter that will be available from retailers in early 2008.

The good news for cable customers is that the digital transition will be easy. New Jersey residents with cable TV don't have to do anything. They're already set for the digital transition. 

Thanks to a compromise adopted by the FCC in September 2007, cable companies will carry the main digital signal of "must carry" commercial broadcast TV stations and will duplicate that signal into analog format so that all channels can be viewed on any older analog TV sets connected to cable.

Cable's carriage of the signals in both digital and analog formats will ensure that all customers will see commercial broadcast TV signals after the transition. This approach will make the digital transition effortless for all cable customers and provide valuable assistance to commercial TV stations trying to reach all of the homes in their region.

While cable systems will work to ensure that their customers are ready for the transition, education of all Americans remains critical.

Research shows that most Americans aren't aware of the digital TV transition, so cable's Get Ready for Digital TV campaign is alerting viewers to this dramatic change and providing simple and practical information so viewers can be prepared. The campaign website is also available in Spanish.

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