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.
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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.