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TV won't go quite blank, just get way duller 

You may have seen the warnings. The roughly 17 million Americans who get their television via analog signals, they warned, will see their screens go dark on Feb. 18 when television stations across the country switch to digital signals.

Now, however, those TVs won’t exactly go dark on that day.

A last-minute bill co-authored by U.S. Rep. Lois Capps, the Democrat who represents much of San Luis Obispo County, and signed by President Bush on Dec. 23, promises that those who’ve missed all the many warnings will get at least one more.

Capps’ bill requires television stations to broadcast a notice, instead of nothing at all, which will direct people to more information about their television viewing options. It would air for 30 days, and would also broadcast emergency information.

Capps, in a written statement, called her bill “an important safety net” in the transition.

Under the act, televisions after the cutoff will see a “slide” on their screens, in both English and Spanish, telling them of the transition to digital as well as emergency weather and public safety information.

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