MOLINE, ILLINOIS - WQPT Quad Cities PBS has ended analog transmission ahead of the June 12 nationwide shutdown due to equipment failure. The station's channel 24 transmitter failed late Monday evening. According to General Manager Rick Best, the last time this same problem occurred three years ago, it cost nearly $20,000 to make the repairs. "With less than three weeks to go before analog broadcasting ends forever" said Best, "it's not feasible to spend that kind of money for repairs."
The early shutdown will affect over-the-air viewers still using an antenna who haven't installed a digital converter box or purchased a digital TV. The station's newer digital transmitter continues to provide WQPT to cable systems and those viewers able to receive an over-the-air digital signal.
Also affected are viewers in the Sterling-Rock Falls-Dixon area that use an antenna to receive WQPT's channel 48. That transmitter receives channel 24 from the Quad Cities and re-broadcasts it on channel 48 for that area. "We were planning to modify that transmitter in a matter of days so that it could receive and retransmit our digital signal, but until that can be done, channel 48 will also be off the air," according to Best.
"The vast majority of WQPT's viewers will not even be aware that the analog transmitter is no longer working since they are already watching on cable or satellite or have installed the digital converter or purchased a digital TV."
WQPT is the local public television station located in Moline, Illinois on the campus of Black Hawk College.
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