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 TV goes digital this morning - June 12, 2009

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PostSubject: TV goes digital this morning - June 12, 2009   Sat Jun 13, 2009 12:45 am

Friday, June 12, 2009
TV goes digital this morning
Catherine Jun and Santiago Esparza / The Detroit News

Befuddled television owners have been flooding several local television stations with phone calls this morning as the transition to digital television gets under way.

WXYZ-TV (Channel 7), the ABC affiliate in Southfield, has fielded about 100 calls since 5 a.m. from viewers, many of whom simply needed to be told how to hook up their digital decoder box or how to reset it to ensure capturing the digital signal. The station switched its signal from analog to digital at 6 a.m.

"People are feeling a little technically challenged," said Dave Baumann, creative services director for the station.

Stations across the country are dropping their analog signals and going completely digital today to meet Saturday's national deadline.

Most television viewers won't notice the switch unless they don't have cable, satellite television or a DTV converter box. In recent months, community organizations have run aggressive campaigns to inform the elderly and non-English speaking communities about the switch.

But stations across the region are anticipating a steady stream of calls today, and have set up call centers to field questions.

ABC, the earliest local station to make the switch this morning, said some confused callers had purchased both a new digital TV and a converter box. Station representatives advised them to give their box to a neighbor or family member. Only a few callers had lost their signal; they had not yet purchased a converter.

"Most of the people have the converter box, have the antenna and are looking for the correct configuration," Baumann said.

Government coupons defrayed the cost of a converter box for residents who do not have cable or other pay services to receive television signals. The converter box hooks up to an antenna and the TV to receive the digital signal.

An application drive will be held all day today at the Northwest Activity Center in Detroit for those who have yet to apply for coupons. Staff and volunteers will also answer any questions about the switch.

Converter boxes start at about $40, the dollar amount of the coupons issued by the government to those who applied for them online or by mail. There is no cost to receive signals using a converter box.

Digital televisions and people with sets with cable television or satellite dishes do not need the converter boxes.

Over the past few weeks, people have gone door to door in Detroit to inform residents about the change and to share information about converter boxes. Local broadcast stations have aired public service announcements for the past year about the change and conducted spot checks over the air to show people if they were able to receive the new digital broadcast or needed to get a converter box or subscribe to a cable or satellite service.

Many networks carry multiple channels of shows, including one in high definition.

Lawmakers passed a bill in the 1990s calling for digital broadcasts, which carry a crisper image and better audio that analog broadcasts, but delayed the implementation of the broadcasts until earlier this year.

President Barack Obama delayed the rollout until today to allow people more time to prepare for the changeover.

For information, call the Michigan DTV help line at (888) 643-8809 through Sunday.

sesparza@detnews.com (313) 222-2320


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PostSubject: Re: TV goes digital this morning - June 12, 2009   Mon Jun 15, 2009 5:42 pm

Thanks to WOW Cable

I didn't have any problems
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PostSubject: Re: TV goes digital this morning - June 12, 2009   Tue Jun 16, 2009 12:31 am

yawn

My TV works the same as before which is good I guess


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PostSubject: Re: TV goes digital this morning - June 12, 2009   Tue Jun 16, 2009 1:02 am

As long as you hook an analog (regular) tv up to cable or sat. tv, it will work fine since they convert the digital signal to analog for use in your house.

If you have a newer digital tv, then it will work well on an antenna, or on cable.

If you need to use the older analog tv (or vcr) on an antenna, get one of the $50 converter boxes at any department or electronics store and you will not need to throw out your good older tv.


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PostSubject: Re: TV goes digital this morning - June 12, 2009   Tue Jun 16, 2009 3:47 am

I'm surprised they actually went through with it this time.

Soon I won't have to hear about this any more Yay2


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PostSubject: Re: TV goes digital this morning - June 12, 2009   Tue Jun 16, 2009 5:53 pm

I am sick of hearing about this for months; Hopefully it is done

Haven't been so sick of hearing about stuff since Y2K
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PostSubject: Re: TV goes digital this morning - June 12, 2009   Tue Jun 16, 2009 6:10 pm

Oh yeah, Y2K was worse than this. I almost forgot about that.


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