Government // Enterprise Architecture
News
6/8/2009
12:16 PM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Final Countdown For DTV Switch

President Obama has even gotten into the act, alerting Americans there won't be a delay beyond Friday.

With the final countdown to the June 12 analog to digital TV switch under way, the Federal Communications Commission has urged consumers to take steps to ensure they receive TV signals after some 100 broadcasters across the United States initiate the transition.

Even after months of warnings and preparations, the FCC is worried that millions of Americans will still be taken by surprise if they find their TV sets go blank. President Obama has even gotten into the act, alerting Americans there won't be a delay beyond Friday.

"I want to be clear: There will not be another delay," the president said in a statement, referring to earlier delays in the DTV switch; more than a third of American televisions were switched in February. "We have worked hand in hand with state and local officials, broadcasters, and community groups to educate and assist millions of Americans with the transition."

The Nielsen Co. recently estimated that of the 114 million U.S. households with TV sets, more than 10% aren't completely prepared for the switch. Households that rely exclusively on the old analog reception are most vulnerable because they could lose all TV reception if they aren't prepared. Others, with extra sets not attached to cable, DSL, or satellite connections, also could lose reception even if their main TV sets are properly connected.

"Analog televisions will need to have digital-to-analog converter boxes attached to their televisions in order to continue receiving over-the-air television programming," the FCC said Monday. "Get the help you need: call 1-888-CALL-FCC or visit and enter your ZIP code or state in the upper right-hand corner of the page to find local events, assistance, and information."

The FCC has also designated 180 of its employees as well as thousands of volunteers to help consumers make the switch.

In its advisory this week, the FCC focused on potential antenna problems. It said rabbit-ear indoor TV antennas might have to be replaced with rooftop antennas in some regions in order for consumers to get channels 2 through 51.

"Some viewers may have to install rooftop antennas," the FCC said. "But try good ears and a bow tie first. You may be pleasantly surprised by how good they'll make your TV picture look."

In rare cases, some consumers may have to purchase service from cable, DSL, or satellite providers to get reception. The DTV switch has already been a boon for TV set manufacturers this year as sales are up sharply, traceable largely to consumers who want to make sure their televions operate properly. Service providers, too, have benefited from the switch.


InformationWeek Analytics and DarkReading.com have published an independent analysis of security outsourcing. Download the report here (registration required).

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest - September 10, 2014
A high-scale relational database? NoSQL database? Hadoop? Event-processing technology? When it comes to big data, one size doesn't fit all. Here's how to decide.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.