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TV stations to test digital broadcasting

May 19, 2009|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

Many television stations on Thursday are scheduled to briefly simulate the coming transition to digital broadcasting.

They will have "soft tests" telling viewers what will happen when TV signals switch from analog to digital, according to the Federal Communications Commission.

The nationwide digital changeover is scheduled to take effect June 12.

Viewers who don't subscribe to cable or satellite service could lose their TV signal if they don't obtain a converter box.

Major network affiliates in the Washington, D.C., area are scheduled to hold "soft tests" Thursday at 7:25 a.m., 12:25 p.m. and 6:25 p.m. Warning messages about the conversion will interrupt regular programming for about two to five minutes.

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The FCC said in a news release that the Washington metro area, which includes Hagerstown, is considered a "hotspot" market, with a significant number of households unprepared for the transition.

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