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Nightlights & Transition Highlights

TV DX EXPO pages and images are owned, maintained, and © copyrighted 2012 by Danny Oglethorpe, member of Worldwide TV - FM DX Association. This is a DX site, and it does not endorse any programming displayed on these pages.
• Nightlight is a station that aired continuous (looped) DTV Transition information beginning on June 12, 2009 (except for emergency and severe weather alerts). Although Nightlights were allowed to operate until July 12, only a small number remained on the air until that date. Nightlights used various types of local IDs.
• Transition Highlight photographs display local DTV Transition information that was broadcast on or prior to June 12, 2009. This includes a variety of on-air Transition-related material. These stations left the air or switched to Nightlighting by midnight on June 12.
The Final Days of Analog TV in the USA Color

DX Notebook


The purpose of these pages is not to lament over the end of analog TV in the USA.

Why did it take me three years to finish these pages? Because I was too busy DXing Digital TV and too busy DXing analog TV from Canada, Mexico, and parts of Latin America. In addition, much of my time was spent making Web pages to display that DX.

TV DXing continues to be an interesting hobby three years after the shut-down of full-power analog TV stations in the USA.

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According to Doug Smith (W9WI), Congress created the "Analog Nightlight Act" to allow some analog stations to continue broadcasting DTV Transition information and emergency information after the analog TV shutdown on June 12, 2009. Stations that participated in the Nightlight program could remain on the air until July 12. Doug reported that over eight-hundred stations were deemed "eligible" to paticipate. However, his list of stations that actually expressed an interest in Nightlighting was short. Here is Doug's list of stations that expressed an interest in participating in the Nightlight program.

(Source: "TV News," VHF - UHF Digest, June 2009. Doug is a broadcast industry professional, a DXer, and a Ham operator. He also writes about DXing for Monitoring Times and is a member of WTFDA's board of directors.)

The station to the right is WCVB-5 Boston.


Although Nightlights aired a variety of DTV Transition programming, the great majority of stations used looped programs produced by the National Association of Broadcasters. Stations generally alternated between English and Spanish versions of the NAB programs. Even stations that produced their own Transition programming included some NAB material in their program loop.

Many Nightlights inserted local information between the loops. For example, KVVU-5 Henderson-Las Vegas inserted a short video which featured newscasters John Huck and Olivia Fierro. KRGV-5 Weslaco, on the other hand, used a slide presentation and video of General Manager John Kittleman talking about the DTV Transition.

WPBT-2, WTAE-4 Pittsburgh, and a number of other stations aired what appeared to be a short commercial for Comcast (the cable TV company) at the beginning of the loop.

A few stations used unique programming. WGBH-2 Boston aired a program featuring PBS's This Old House hosts Norm Abram and Kevin O'Connor. (That program had already been shown at various times during the first half of 2009 on PBS affiliates around the country.) Another Boston Nightlight, WCVB-5, broadcast a progam entitled The Digital Truth, which was hosted by newscaster Susan Wornick.

From a DXer's point of view, the best Nightlights were the ones that placed local ID material on the screen continuously.


The National Association of Broadcasters DTV tips programs dominated Nightlighting. Mike DiSerio hosted two versions of NAB's English DTV Transition Tips program, while Rodrigo Vidal hosted NAB's Spanish program. The NAB programs aired on multiple stations in a number of markets (including Pittsburgh, Miami, and Dallas-Fort Worth).

The screen to the right was shown at the end of the NAB Transition programs.

The station here is WYFF-4 Greenville, SC.

WTVJ-6 Miami
NAB's DTV Transition Tips program
Near the beginning of the program
KOB-4 Albuquerque (1-866-503-3329)
KOB-4 Vidal
Rodrigo Vidal hosted NAB's Spanish version of DTV Transition Tips.
WJBK-2 Detroit (FOX2)

Host Mike DiSerio is dressed casually in this version of the NAB program. This was the most-common show used by Nightlights that I received.

KVVU-5 Henderson-Las Vegas
KVVU-5 DiSerio
Mike DiSerio is dressed in a business suit in the other version. I saw this one on a few stations. (The bar on the forehead is a problem with my video recording.)


These "reject" photographs came in handy after all.

WRC-4 Washington, DC
WRC-4 Nightlight
"To continue watching free television..."

WFMY-2 Greensboro
WRC-4 Nightlight
Mr. DiSerio is looking a little tired and weary after many days of explaining how "to continue watching free television." He has finally come to the sad conclusion that most of the people who are viewing his program are DXers watching via E-skip, and that the small number of viewers who are not DXers will ultimately subscribe to cable TV or satellite TV...

DX Notebook


Seeing Nightlight programming repeated over and over on what had been normal, lively TV stations seemed kind of eery to me. I have always wondered how many viewers actually watched those programs. Is it possible that Nightlight programming was really being watched by procrastinators, economically-deprived people, and hapless members of society who were not aware that the DTV Transition had taken place? Is it possible that DXers in faraway places were the only ones watching? Had I not been a DXer, I may have not known about the programs. Yet, thankfully, I was fortunate enough not to need Nightlight programming. (Thank God!)

Nightlights received at my location: 37
New logs: 2
Nightlights displayed on Nightlights & Transition Highlights: 31

Transition Highlights received at my location: Numerous
New logs: 1
Transition Highlights displayed on Nightlights & Transition Highlights: 12 IDs and 2 unIDs

(Two stations are displayed as both Nightlights and Transition Highlights.)

All of the DX on these pages was received May 26, 2009 - July 12, 2009.

WPVI-6 Transition Highlight

During the weeks prior to the June 12 DTV Transition, analog TV stations devoted a large amount of time to preparing the public for the upcoming changes. That information ranged from a simple crawl at the top or bottom of the screen to reports about the analog-to-digital conversion on local newscasts. In addition, the NAB produced some short DTV Transition spots that were aired during commercial breaks by stations around the country.

When the June 12th Transition Day finally arrived, some interesting full-screen messages could be seen throughout the day and night on stations that had ended normal analog programming earlier in the day.

Many analog stations (like WPVI-6 Philadelphia above) discontinued analog broadcasting at the end of local newscasts. Those final newscasts devoted much time to a last-ditch effort to inform viewers about the forthcoming conversion. TV stations realized that some viewers (for whatever reasons) were not yet prepared for the Transition.

The Transition Highlight pictured to the left is WTTG-5 Washington, DC. The midday newscast was the last regular analog program that WTTG broadcast. The ladies answering the phones appear to be busy advising viewers who were not yet ready for the "switch to digital tv." The station converted to Nightlighting after the newscast.

Use the links below to see forty-one Nightlights and Transition Highlights.
High-Band | Channel 2 | Channel 3 | Channel 4 #1 | Channel 4 #2 |
Channel 5 #1 | Channel 5 #2 | Channel 6 #1 | Channel 6 #2 |
WPVI-6 Digital Transition Day 2009 | WTTG-5 Digital Transition Day & Nightlight |
Nightlights & Transition Highlights
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TV DX EXPO pages and images are owned, maintained, and © copyrighted 2012 by Danny Oglethorpe, member of Worldwide TV - FM DX Association. This is a DX site, and it does not endorse any programming displayed on these pages.