Digital TV Will Strand Some Viewers

One in five stations will lose viewers in broadcast switch, others will gain


About one in five TV stations won't reach all their current viewers after they turn off analog signals in February, regulators say. Those stations will go dark for at least two percent of their broadcast viewers, the FCC says.

But most stations will reach more viewers because of the stronger reach of digital broadcast, according to the agency.

Your signal may vary, though, at least judging from our experience. The agency's new market-by-market maps suggest our house should be getting an extra PBS station from across the river in Illinois. Hasn't happened so far. Maybe if we get a different antenna, or point it differently.

At least we are getting all the full-power stations that we did in analog. So we aren't among the unfortunate few who will be stranded without some of their favorite TV. The risk is why broadcast viewers need to allow time for fiddling with their digital system, including antennas, before the February switch.