Reminder: DTV Transition happening FRIDAY!

by professor.knowsitall@evpl on Thursday, June 11 2009, 4:13pm. Viewed 960 times.

Evil DTV MonsterOn Friday, 2.8 million households will riot in the streets when their TVs cease to work.

Okay, slight exaggeration...hopefully there will be no rioting.  But the "2.8 million households" statistic is no joke, according to figures released yesterday by Nielsen Media Research.  Even after a four month delay, 2.8 million households (2.5% of the US television market) are still unprepared.

Television stations nationwide will stop broadcasting in analog (the standard used for the past 60+ years) and broadcast only in digital starting tomorrow.  Older TVs without a digital tuner will require a digital converter box to pick up digital broadcasts. If you're still confused about the DTV transition, or not sure if you're prepared or not, check out my previous blog posts DTV 101 (part 1): The "Digital TV Transition"; Converter boxes and DTV 101 (part 2): The pros & cons of going Digital.

If you've already been watching DTV, you're encouraged to re-scan for channels tomorrow.  Stations should be boosting their digital transmissions, which should hopefully resolve reception issues viewers have encountered.

I'm happy that the DTV transition will finally be over with...as long as I'm actually able to watch TV when it rains (currently having signal dropouts!).  Are you excited about DTV?  If you've been watching DTV, have you had any reception woes?  Share in the comments section below!


Comments (3)

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mitymouse wrote
on Friday, June 12 2009, 2:01pm

I am not sure of the purpose of the big switch. What I do know is that I am still trying to find a way to get the coupons. I feel since this is another one of the governments big ideas, we should all get the converter boxes for free. I think it's the least they can do to help us since they are the reason we are in a recession to begin with.

kiya@evpl wrote
on Friday, June 12 2009, 3:24pm

You can apply for converter box coupons at: www.dtv2009.gov/ApplyCoupon.aspx or by calling their automated phone system at 1-888-DTV-2009 (1-888-388-2009).

on Friday, June 12 2009, 4:02pm

mitymouse: Follow kiya@evpl's advice to apply for a coupon.  Requests are being accepted through July 31.

Here's a quick breakdown of some of the reasons for the switch:

* New features: Digital TV allows for better picture & sound quality (folks with HDTVs will receive some programming in high-definition), and stations can broadcast more than one channel (WFIE has 3: 14.1 is their regular station, 14.2 is a movie channel, and 14.3 is their weather channel).

* DTV is more efficient: The sky is not unlimited when it comes to broadcasting.  Whereas analog TV was ineffecient and consumed a lot of space, digital TV requires a lot less space.  This newly free space can now be used for new wireless services.

* Government likes money: Some of the newly-freed airwaves will be used for local emergency services and other noble causes.  The rest is being auctioned off to cellphone/wireless companies for them to provide newer/faster services.  Regardless of the money spent on the converter box coupons, they'll be making money.

I agree that the converter boxes are too expensive; the cheapest I've seen one at a local store was $50.  I think there should be models priced right at $40, making them free after coupon.  I was able to order a couple online at this price, but then had to pay $8 shipping for each.