WATERLOO (KWWL) -- KWWL-TV has ended its analog signal, prior to the new nationwide date of June 12, 2009.
Viewers who use an antenna to receive the over-the-air signal of KWWL-TV will need to have either a television set with a digital receiver or a digital converter box along with an appropriate antenna, and should re-scan their converter box.
Digital converter boxes are available at many area retailers.
Cable and satellite subscribers should not have to make any changes.
Congress voted to delay the transition from analog to digital TV broadcasting from Feb. 17 to June 12, to give people more time to prepare for the switch. Some lawmakers worried more than 6.5 million Americans with older TVs would not be ready by the original deadline.
The bill allows stations that are ready to make the switch on Feb. 17 as planned. But, stations that are not ready will be able to delay the switch until June.
Below is the official statement from KWWL-TV:
KWWL will be switching exclusively to digital at 1:00pm on February 17th. The switchover will take approximately thirty minutes, at which time KWWL will be completely off the air. Once the switch is complete viewers who watch KWWL over the air, using only an antenna will need to rescan their television channels on their TV or digital converter box to retune the station.
"The reason for the rescan is that prior to February 17th, KWWL was actually located on UHF channel 55," said Kim Leer, Station Manager at KWWL. "After the switch, we will be back on VHF channel 7."
"Rescanning is a quick and painless process," added KWWL chief Engineer Jarrett Liddicoat. "Most converter boxes or built in DTV tuners have that function within their menu. Viewers who watch us via satellite or on cable don't have to do anything. It is those who watch over the air with an antenna who need to purchase a converter box or a television set with a digital tuner."
Cable and satellite viewers who still cannot see KWWL after the February 17th switch should contact their provider.
Converter boxes are still available at many local retailers and the coupons for purchase currently provided by the government are NOT required to buy a converter box. The coupon application deadline is March 31st and can be done at http://www.dtv2009.gov or by calling 1-888-DTV-2009.
Viewers who rescan will find the three, free local channels currently offered by KWWL. Aside from the primary NBC affiliation carried on 7.1, viewers can also enjoy ThisTV on 7.2, a movie and entertainment channel provided by MGM. The Retro Television Network, or RTN can be found on 7.3 and carries classic TV shows from the ‘60's through the 90's.
Viewers that have questions or problems on February 17th can call either 1-888-CALL-FCC or 319-291-1200. Calls will be taken at KWWL on February 17th from 8:00am to 10:30pm and on February 18th until 8:00pm.
If you have rescanned your TV or converter box and are still experiencing problems, it is most likely a problem with your antenna. You will need a VHF antenna. For more questions about finding the right antenna and positioning it correctly, contact Wineguard Antenna at 866-454-7566.