Early switch to digital TV for the birds

November 11, 2008 6:03:16 AM PST
For the sake of an endangered bird, Hawaii will switch to digital television more than a month sooner than the rest of the country.

Analog transmissions for most of Hawaii -- except the island of Kauai -- will stop January 15th. The other 49 states make the switch February 17th.

The early change is to protect the endangered Hawaiian petrel. Nesting season on the slopes of Maui's Haleakala volcano begins in February, just as old analog transmission towers nearby would be torn down. It's estimated that little more than 1,000 of the birds nest on the volcano.

The early switch will affect only Hawaiians who receive programming through an antenna. Cable and satellite viewers are not affected.