Public Television Station KUAT6 Cuts Analog Signal Early

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Weather damage to equipment influenced decision to stop before June 12 deadline.

The public television broadcast from KUAT-TV is making the switch to all digital broadcast at the end of March, before the national deadline of June 12, 2009. KUAT will stop broadcasting on analog Channel 6 and only provide a digital signal beginning at midnight on March 31, 2009.

"Recent weather damage to our broadcast equipment on Mt. Bigelow has influenced our decision to make the switch early for KUAT Channel 6 in Tucson," said Jack Gibson, Director and General Manager of Arizona Public Media. Over-the-air analog broadcast service for Channel 6 will end on Tuesday, March 31 at 11:59 p.m., ten weeks before the scheduled digital transition date.

"We have been informing our viewers for more than a year that the transition was coming," Gibson said. "It was our full intention to continue the KUAT analog signal until the June 12th national transition date, but the damaged equipment must be removed as soon as possible and sent for repairs."

Viewers in the immediate Tucson area using a set-top or rooftop UHF antenna to receive Channel 6 who have not installed a digital converter box can still tune to Channel 27, which serves the majority of metropolitan Tucson on KUAS. Channel 27 will continue to be available in analog until June 12. Viewers who have questions about the digital switch can call (520) 621-5828 or send an e-mail to DTV (at) AZpublicmedia.org. Additional information is also available at http://www.AZpublicmedia.org

On April 1, KUAT Channel 6 will be available to those with televisions capable of receiving a digital signal, or those who have purchased digital converter boxes to receive the signal via UHF antenna with analog televisions. Those viewing KUAT6 via cable providers or satellite television will not affected.

Public television viewers who have made the digital switch are enjoying more channels better sound, and a clearer picture than was available via the analog signal. Public television choices available to digital signal viewers include: PBS Kids and PBS World (both digitally broadcast 24 hours a day), the life-long learning channel, Create channel; and V-me, which provides public television-quality programming in Spanish -- all in addition to the PBS program service which is now available in HDTV.

The original transition date for television stations nationwide to completely switch to digital broadcasting was February 17, 2009, but the deadline was extended to June by the Federal Communications Commission amid concern that a large portion of the nation's television viewers had still not made the necessary equipment switch.

Converter box coupons are again available through the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) by calling 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322). TTY is 1-888-TELL-FCC. The coupon website is http://www.dtv2009.gov. People ordering coupons should be aware that they may not receive them by the digital transition date.

About Arizona Public Media:
Arizona Public Media® is a member-supported non-profit media organization of The University of Arizona, this year celebrating 50 years of public broadcasting service to Southern Arizona. Arizona Public Media (AZPM) broadcasts PBS stations KUAT Channel 6 and KUAS Channel 27; Digital TV Channels 6-1 PBS-HD; 6-2 V-me (en español); 6-3 Create; KUAS Channel 27-1 PBS-HD; 27-2 PBS Kids; 27-3 PBS World, the UA Channel (Cox 116/Comcast 76); classical music station KUAT-FM 90.5/89.7; NPR affiliate KUAZ 1550AM/89.1 FM; and the Ahora channel (en español) on KUAZ-HD2. AZPM also produces award-winning original local programming from its digital studios on the campus of the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona. More information on programming and community events can be found at http://www.AZpublicmedia.org

Arizona Public Media is a registered trademark of the Arizona Board of Regents.

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Steve Delgado
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