Friday, September 26, 2008

DTV is coming

February 19 is the end of analog transmission television. All those stations are going to turn off. And if you’re still getting TV “off the air” and don’t have a digital TV, or haven’t bought a digital converter, then you won’t be able to watch television.

And you will be better for it.

At least one Senator is concerned They did a test cut-off in Wilmington Carolina early in this month that revealed some problems:
"As the current administration winds down, both agencies must remain vigilant so that the next administration does not inherit a communications crisis."
- Senator Daniel Inouye

But it turns out that the problems were more mental than physical:
According to the Journal, by mid-afternoon roughly 74 calls had been placed to two TV stations, WSFX-TV, a Fox affiliate, and WECT-TV, an NBC affiliate. The newspaper also reported the FCC received about a hundred calls on its toll-free help line in the first few hours after local broadcasters shut off their analog signals. Most of the calls were from people who needed help programming the new digital converter boxes, the newspaper said.

On a personal note, I too thought that because I had (RCN) cable television, I didn’t need to worry. And then a couple of weeks ago my TV went blank, and all I got was a message on Channel 3 about digital conversion. Turned out I had to go down to the cable company and pick up a new converter box! Fortunately, the tragedy was averted, though I was annoyed that the cable company hadn’t been smart enough to let me know about this in advance.

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