Brunswick County, N.C., residents were among the first in the country to go through the transition to all-digital TV signals, making any television sets without analog converters instant antiques.
At noon Monday, Wilmington, N.C., became the first test market for the switch required by February for the rest of the nation - including Horry and Georgetown counties.
The Federal Communications Commission said the change affects the 7 percent of the Wilmington market that still relies on an analog signal.
The five TV stations that switched their signals - Channel 3 WWAY (ABC), Channel 6 WECT (NBC), Channel 10 WILM (CBS), Channel 26 WSFX (FOX) and Channel 51 W51CW (Trinity) - will be able to switch back to analog in case of an emergency, such as a hurricane.
FCC Commissioner Michael Copps asked for feedback from residents.
"There is no substitute for real-world experience," he said in Wilmington on Monday morning. "We really need your input."
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