Bay City Television - Digital Television - Analog-to-digital Conversion

Analog-to-digital Conversion

In 2000, XETV began transmitting a digital signal on UHF channel 23, becoming the first San Diego area station to go digital. It was also the first digital station in Mexico because of its Tijuana transmitter; no other Mexican TV station had yet begun digital operations at that time. It maps on digital tuners in both countries as virtual channel 6.1 through PSIP technology.

When the original American digital TV transition date of February 17, 2009 came near, XETV had expressed intentions to follow other San Diego-area stations in going digital-only. While the U.S. switchover deadline of February 17 had been pushed back to June 12, 2009 and only applied to American-licensed stations in any case, plans were announced to voluntarily make the station's English-language programming digital-only, with the former analog signal repurposed as a repeater for Mexico City's XEQ-TV. Claims on XETV's website that the station was indeed going to be digital-only were rescinded on February 17, 2009 as the station decided to delay cutting off its analog signal until after it secured approval from the Mexican government. XETV management later stated that it had decided to maintain its analog signal to benefit Mexican viewers. XETV's analog signal was eventually repurposed on March 5, 2012, when the station began multicasting on its digital signal with the addition of Televisa's youth-oriented Canal 5 network on subchannel 6.2. At the same time, its analog channel replaced the newscasts, CW network and syndicated programs in English (which were relegated exclusively to digital channel 6.1) with those of Spanish-language Canal 5.

On May 28, 2013 XETV and all other Tijuana TV stations permanently ceased analog transmissions, sixty years and one month after it first signed on the air. Cofetel, Mexico's Federal Telecommunications Commission, chose Tijuana as the first city for digital switchover as a pilot program for the rest of the nation. Unlike the U.S. digital switchover, which took place nationwide on June 12, 2009, Mexico is rolling out the switchover in stages by geographic area, with a planned completion by December 31, 2015. The original Tijuana switchover date of April 16, 2013 was delayed by Cofetel because the local population had not yet attained the required 90% readiness for free over-the-air digital service to trigger the transition.


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