: U.S. DTV News & Discussion
2008-05-10, 12:35 PM
I have the sad feeling that even with all the warnings and press there will still be jammed telephone switchboards at the TV stations with frantic, confused callers wanting to know why Judge Judy, Judge Hatchett, Judge Joe Brown, Judge Maria Lopez, etc. etc. are not on TV.
2008-05-10, 01:12 PM
This was on the front page of the USAT the other day. Good idea. Lots to learn.
2008-05-12, 01:16 PM
Low Powers Seek $450M in DTV Aid
Community Broadcasters Association Eyes $150K for Each Low-Power TV Station
By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 5/9/2008 1:47:00 PM
Just smacked down by the courts, the low-power TV industry's lobby is asking Congress for $450 million to make the conversion to digital as soon as possible, saying that many in the industry face bankruptcy and potential ruin due to government policies.
Low-power stations aren't required to make the DTV transition by any set date, but the Community Broadcasters Association is concerned that if stations don't make the switch soon, they could be left behind in an analog world that few people can access.http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/CA6559392.html?industryid=48696
2008-05-12, 01:23 PM
This topic is of interest to Canadians who live in Border areas that are not major U.S. cities.
LP (Low Power) stations are a product of the Reagan de-regulation era of the early 1980s and are considered ugly stepchildren by regular broadcasters. LP stations are analogue and are allowed to operate at a mere fraction of the ERP of regular stations in non-competing locations, but they are also allowed to take another distant channel's programming at no cost to themselves and rebroadcast it using simsubbing of local commercials.
Nobody has told LP stations to go digital, but with the fact of the DTV conversion going forward, the LP stations went to court to force a decision to keep analogue tuners available to consumers. The court would not intervene, so the DTV changeover continues full speed. Now the LP stations are asking for government funding to convert to digital.
People from the Vancouver area and Vancouver Island have been hoping for quite some time that DTV LP stations will come up as SeaTac station repeaters since the original stations seldom reach most of the Canadian areas.
2008-05-16, 02:05 PM
Here's a letter to the editor that I read the other day:
2008-06-15, 08:23 PM
Here's the info on the freeze being lifted: http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-08-1213A1.pdf
2008-06-21, 10:26 PM
"Countdown to DTV - Are You Ready?" is the name of the show. It runs 30 minutes. No word on the content level. BTW that's 12:30 around lunchtime, not 12:30 around late movie time. We need to switch to 24 hour clocks.
2008-06-23, 12:48 AM
"Countdown to DTV - Are You Ready?" is the name of the show. It runs 30 minutes. No word on the content level.
Pity I missed it. :(
BTW that's 12:30 around lunchtime, not 12:30 around late movie time. We need to switch to 24 hour clocks.
For what it's worth I always use a 24-hour clock for text communication. On the bright side only three hours are then ever potentially ambiguous.
2008-08-24, 05:21 PM
It won't be a real flash cut, but analogue viewers will get a superimposed, mid-screen text scroll of DTV info right in their faces. This will be very helpful to many people involved in the DTV transition for its "lessons learned" data.WHO to Test Conversion Aug. 25
Local TV's Des Moines, Iowa, station to conduct 19-hour digital-conversion test.
By Michael Malone
Local TV ’s WHO Des Moines, Iowa , will conduct a 19-hour digital-conversion test from 5 a.m.-midnight Monday. The test will help viewers to realize if their televisions will pass or fail February’s analog-TV shutdown. Viewers who are up to speed on the conversion will not be impacted by the test. Viewers who are not digitally equipped will see a crawl about one-third of the way up the screen that informs them that they’re not prepared and instructs them on how to fix the issue. Regional vice president and general manager Dale Woods said the idea was hatched at a leadership meeting about one month ago. “It’s one way to help viewers understand how prepared they are,” he added. “We wanted a way to break through the clutter of informational messages and really target those people who we know it will impact.”
2008-09-07, 01:12 PM
FCC plans to go through with DTV test in NC
By JOHN DUNBAR – 1 day ago
WASHINGTON (AP) — The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission said Friday that he is unlikely to delay plans for an important test in North Carolina that could disrupt television service for some viewers in the path of Tropical Storm Hanna.
Wilmington, N.C., is serving as a test market for the national conversion to digital broadcasting. The city's four commercial network affiliates will stop broadcasting an analog signal at noon Monday, leaving viewers unready for the change unable to watch those channels.http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5g5dldBjW5-ihoK4rBYMrH2FbcDwgD930SSV00
Nothing like a baptism by fire! :eek:
2008-09-07, 01:46 PM
Wilmington, N.C., stations to proceed with early analog shut-off Sept. 8 in wake of Hurricane Hanna
By John Eggerton
The Wilmington, N.C., market's pilot analog shut-off program is a go for Monday, Sept. 8, now that Hurricane Hanna has blown through town with minimal damage.
According to Louis Sigalos, program manager for the program, the stakeholders met Sunday morning and are setting up for the big shut-off event Monday. FCC Chairman Kevin Martin is schedule to preside over the symbolic cut-off, but Sigalos wouldn't say just how, maintaining that he wanted to preserve the drama.http://www.broadcastnewsroom.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=508681
2008-09-09, 01:31 PM
Wilmington Transition Issues: Programming Converter Boxes
Viewers Were Aware Of Change, Not How To Adjust Equipment
By Linda Haugsted
The majority of trouble calls made by Wilmington, N.C. residents dealing with Sept. 8 digital TV transition test were prompted because local viewers had not properly programmed the converter boxes they bought, according to data collected by a group of university students monitoring the market.http://www.broadcastnewsroom.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=511290
I think the act of "scanning" for channels is a paradigm shift for those who are used to simply powering-on their new TV, selecting a channel, and watching it.
El Gran Chico
2008-09-09, 02:33 PM
Thanks Stampeder for posting this. There was also a piece on the NBC Nightly News last night, but it probably would have made you cringe - the reporter said viewers "need to re-program their rabbit ears".:rolleyes:
The was also an article on cnn dot com yesterday or today saying how converter boxes were hard to come by yesterday at Wilmington area retailers.
2008-09-09, 06:01 PM
How incredible is this ?!?!:
Eager to learn from Wilmington, the FCC has set up a consumer hotline. It also is paying local fire departments $15 per converter box to help residents who have difficulty installing digital gear.
How do we sign up for the Wilmington F.D.? I guess the Police Department cuts your lawn when it's slow, and the garbage collection workers will also hang out your laundry? Who is liable for damages when your house is on fire, but the F.D. is across town making sure little Ms Daisey can watch her "stories"?
You can't see it on the web, but this article was on the front page of the paper. There is a picture showing 2 tv's; one with a clear picture from a CECB box, and another one with an analog set completely unwatchable from ghosting. It does not mention whether the signals are from the same antenna however.
2008-09-10, 07:07 PM
Reminds me of Sicko and Michael Moore's incredulity that France's health care system would actually pay for someone to help new mothers with their cleaning and laundry.
Thank God America has Universal Television Care!
2008-09-11, 08:32 AM
Reminds me of Sicko and Michael Moore's incredulity that France's health care system would actually pay for someone to help new mothers with their cleaning and laundry.???? :confused:
2008-09-11, 09:16 AM
Excerpts from the FCC's "unofficial announcement":The 400,000 viewers in the Wilmington area represent an estimated 180,000 households, of which nearly 14,000 receive free over-the-air television programming with roof-top antennas or “rabbit-ears.” During the first day of the transition, approximately 800 (797) area residents or less
than one-half of one percent of area homes called the FCC helpline asking questions and seeking
help with the switch-over to digital television. On September 9, the second day of the transition, the
number of calls decreased by almost 50 percent from the first day to 424.
Based on calls to the FCC helpline through the first day, most consumers were aware of and
ready for the transition. The Commission’s helpline received just 23 calls from consumers who said
they were not aware of the switch to digital television and/or did not know the date of the transition.
Chairman Martin directed his team of engineers and outreach staff to identify and
understand the problems viewers were facing and work to resolve them to the extent possible.
These FCC teams are already working to assist residents in resolving their problems. A significant
number of consumers who called the helpline with converter box, reception or other technical issues
have already had their issues resolved.
Specifically, more than 160 calls were from viewers who had initial difficulty in setting up
their converter boxes properly. For example, consumers had difficulty understanding the
instructions for setting up the converter box and scanning for channels. Seventy-five of these
consumers were successfully guided through the installation process by call-takers and were able to
view channels after re-scanning their televisions.
Of the total number of calls to the helpline, 178 were by viewers who were experiencing
problems with their television reception or had other technical issues. We were able to resolve
reception and other technical issues for 22 of the 178 consumers by explaining where the
broadcasters’ new digital channels are located, helping them re-scan channels, and/or by assisting
them with re-positioning or adjusting their antennas. We are continuing to work with these viewers
to understand and resolve their issues.
A significant number of calls (232) were related to the viewer’s inability to locate the
Wilmington NBC affiliate. Prior to the digital switch, the Wilmington NBC affiliate signal was
available to viewers outside the television market as far south as Myrtle Beach, SC and as far north
as Raleigh, NC. The Wilmington NBC affiliate’s new coverage area does not include these out of
market communities. Some of these complaints were from these viewers who will continue to
receive their local NBC affiliates in Myrtle Beach and Raleigh.
2008-09-11, 11:00 AM
Uh-huh..Notice there's no estimate of viewers who had no clue what was happening, or who to call, and probably just gave up and sat around moping all day. Well at least it appears that the FCC is willing to step in and help as much as is practical. I somehow doubt that Industry Canada/CRTC is going to be so helpful or forthcoming 3 years from now.
2008-09-11, 11:27 AM
there's no estimate of viewers who had no clue what was happening, or who to call, and probably just gave up and sat around moping all day.The same ones that can't figure out which way to place the batteries in the remote.
2008-10-05, 10:28 PM
To help defray the cost of the box, the federal government is offering up to two coupons -- each worth $40 -- to every household in the country. A converter box, which starts around $50, will only work with one television.http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/tv/381565_digital03.html