WENH-DT 11 has completed the digital transition!

Analog broadcasts were shut down at 8:30 AM.

(Durham, February 12, 2009) — On February 17th at 8:30 a.m., New Hampshire Public Television will shut down its full-power analog television signals on channels 11 (WENH-Durham), 49 (WLED-Littleton), and 52 (WEKW-Keene) and will transmit digital-only broadcasts. While the federal government recently extended the deadline for the DTV transition to June 12th, NHPTV is making the switch on February 17th as originally mandated. (However, the Channel 18 translator in Pittsburg will remain analog until the national June 12 transition date.)

“We recognize that the switch from analog to digital TV has been very confusing,” noted Peter A. Frid, president and general manager of New Hampshire Public Television. “We have been talking with viewers for over a year about how they can prepare for DTV. After careful consideration, NHPTV decided to go forward with the February 17th transition date because we believe it is in the best interest of our viewers. We want to ensure that our broadcast signal is available and reliable. In preparing for the digital transition deadline, we deconstructed our channel 11 analog transmitter and went to half-power, which reduced TV reception for our analog viewers. Making the transition on Feb 17th will provide a much more reliable signal to over-the-air viewers and cable TV customers in the event of a power outage or storm.”

“If NHPTV were to delay the transition until June, we would incur about $60,000 in unbudgeted expenses for electricity and outdated equipment. In these very challenging economic times, it would be extremely difficult for the station to continue to offer the programs and services viewers expect and support. We encourage anyone who needs assistance in making the switch from analog to digital TV to contact us,” Frid said.

Viewers who have TVs connected to a cable or satellite TV service are ready for digital television. Viewers whose TVs have an antenna or “rabbit ears” have three options to continue watching NHPTV as of February 17th:

1) Purchase a converter box for each television that receives TV signals through an antenna ($40 coupons from the federal government are available to offset the cost), OR
2) Purchase a new television set with a built-in digital tuner, OR
3) Subscribe to a cable or satellite service that carries the channels you want to watch.

The federal TV Converter Box Coupon Program, which provides two $40 coupons per household, has reached its funding ceiling and is awaiting additional funding. However, coupon requests from eligible households will be filled as funds from expiring coupons become available. If you apply for a coupon and are eligible, you will be placed on a waiting list and will receive coupons on a first-come-first-served basis as funds from expiring coupons become available. Coupons will expire within 90 days of the date they are mailed.

After NHPTV’s digital transition occurs on February 17th, viewers should re-scan their digital converter box or digital TV to ensure they are receiving the appropriate digital channel.

Viewers with questions about the transition, digital television, converter boxes, antennas, and reception are invited to call NHPTV’s special “DTV Hotline” on February 17th from 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. and February 18 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. at (800) 278-1961 or to e-mail NHPTV at themailbox@nhptv.org.