Analog broadcasting did not cease entirely following the June 12 deadline: under the provisions of the Short-term Analog Flash and Emergency Readiness Act, approximately 120 full-power stations briefly maintained analog "nightlight" service, ending no later than July 12.
Since March 1, 2007, all new television devices that receive signals over-the-air, including pocket-sized portable televisions, personal computer video capture card tuners, and DVD recorders, have been required to include digital ATSC tuners. broadcasters transmitted their signals in both analog and digital formats, though a few were already digital-only.
Prior to this, the requirement was phased-in starting with larger screen sizes. Digital stations transmitted on another channel, which was assigned to each full-power broadcaster in a three-round digital channel election.
On July 15, 2011, the FCC posted the required transition deadlines for low power television.
Stations broadcasting on channels 52 to 69 were required to vacate those channels by December 31, 2011, and all analog television transmitters (primarily low-powered (LP), and Class-A low-powered (-CA) stations, and also broadcast translator (TX) translator/repeaters in rural communities) were required to shut down by September 1, 2015.
More disturbingly, while many calls from viewers were straightforward questions about installation of antennas and converters, or the need to scan for channels before being able to watch digital television, hundreds more were from viewers who had installed converters and UHF antennas correctly but had still lost existing channels.
Most affected were full-power broadcasters which had been on low-VHF channels.
Congress passed the Telecommunications Act of 1996 with the original transition date of December 31, 2006.
However, the transition to digital television was set back three times: first to December 31, 2008, then to February 17, 2009, and then finally to June 12, 2009.
The delay passed Congress despite this prediction (see Extension of transition to June 12).
As part of a test by the FCC to iron out transition and reception concerns before the nationwide shutoff, all of the major network stations in the Wilmington, North Carolina market ceased transmission of their analog signals on September 8, 2008, making it the first market in the nation to go digital-only.
The transition from the analog NTSC format to the digital ATSC format was originally required to be completed on February 17, 2009, as set by Congress in the Digital Transition and Public Safety Act of 2005.