Some Missouri television watchers might be out of luck today. The CBS affiliate station in Joplin will be switching from analog to digital signals today despite the federal decision to roll the switchover back to June 12.
Don Hicks, president of Missouri Broadcasters Association, says the federal program to distribute vouchers covering the cost of converters could not keep up with the demand, and that’s why the switch was postponed.
A Joplin T-V station and possibly one in the Hannibal-Quincy area are going ahead with the switch today.
Hicks says about five to seven percent of the population will likely not be ready for the switch, whether it’s today or in June. And it’s not, as most expect, the over 55 demographic that’s not getting the signal. He says the 35 and under head of households are less prepared than the older folks.
Hicks says he thinks everyone will breathe a sigh of relief when the switch is finally completed in June, and that the delay is costing T-V stations thousands a month in unexpected costs.
And he says his association is getting hundreds of e-mails a day about the situation. He expects some might still have problems with their antennas after installing the converter boxes, because the "fine tuning" is a little more precise. But, all in all, he says he expects the impact to be minimal to the general public.