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US implements post-switchover 'nightlight'

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American television viewers who do not switch to digital before the deadline on February 17, 2009 will receive "nightlight" broadcasts on analogue for a month.

The Federal Communications Commission said that full-power TV stations who would otherwise have to terminate their analogue broadcasts on the switchover date would be permitted to continue transmitting an analogue signal for the provision of "emergency and digital TV transition consumer information". 826 stations covering 202 of 210 TV market areas have been pre-approved to participate in the programme, but the analogue signals will only be permitted if they do not interfere with digital terrestrial broadcasts.

"This action is designed to aid consumers who are not able to receive digital signals after the DTV
transition on February17, 2009, to provide them with access to emergency information," the FCC explained. "This action is also intended to help consumers understand the steps they need to take in order to restore their television service."
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