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Most Denverites get DTV conversion reprieve -- but not viewers of Mass For Shut-Ins

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If everything had gone according to plan, all television viewers would be on the cusp of finding out if their sets were DTV-ready. After all, the original day for conversion from analog to digital transmissions was tomorrow, February 17. But last week, President Barack Obama signed a bill delaying the switch until June 12 for stations that don't receive special dispensation to go ahead with the transition. That buys a little more time for people in the Denver area and beyond who will almost certainly lose free TV reception -- the topic of a January 21 Message column headlined "The Digital Conversion Will Leave Some Coloradans in the Dark."

As pointed out in a story by the Denver Post's David Migoya, eleven stations in the state want to start the DTV revolution on the regular schedule, including one Denver station: Channel 12, whose analog antenna was destroyed in a recent windstorm. (Get the skinny in the January 23 blog "Public-TV Stations Grapple With Digital Switchover.") Hence, viewers who don't have the proper conversion box or are in outlying areas have already lost access to the station.

This prospect concerns the Archdiocese of Denver, whose program Mass For Shut-Ins -- an area staple since 1966 -- is seen on Channel 12 at 6:30 a.m. on Sundays. The web page for the broadcast currently couples the usual program information with a DTV explanation and links to frequently asked questions, "myths, facts & lingo" and conversion-box hook-up instructions borrowed from the site of that other public-TV outlet in town, Channel 6, which has delayed its own move to digital. Obviously, all the stations, and the viewers, are in this growing mess together.

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