Digital television explained

Digital television explained

Posted: Wednesday, June 25, 2008 6:53 pm

WLJT-TV/DT, Channel 11 wants to reassure viewers they can still receive free, over-the-air television after stations switch to all digital broadcasting on Feb. 17, 2009. WLJT, which has launched a comprehensive community education campaign, is providing viewers with the facts about digital television and the changes they may need to make to receive and watch television in the future. Congress set Feb. 17, 2009, as the deadline for most TV broadcasters to switch to all digital signals. Most stations have already made the switch and are transmitting both analog and digital television signals. Viewers with digital televisions are already enjoying digital television right now. WLJT general manager Dave Hinman said, “It’s true. WLJT and other television broadcasters — commercial and public — are moving from conventional TV broadcasting to new channels for digital broadcasting. Over the next year, people will probably hear a lot more about digital television. Some of what they hear may be confusing, perhaps scary, and possibly untrue. That’s why we want our viewers to know the facts.” According to the National Association of Broadcasters, the percentage of viewers who are aware of the change to all digital television broadcasting is increasing. However, according to a recent Consumer Reports survey, the vast majority of people who have heard about digital broadcasting have major misconceptions about how it will all work. Digital television is free to everyone. Viewers do not need to subscribe to a cable or satellite service. In fact, they don’t even need to buy a new TV. A small converter box hooked to the current TV set will ensure they continue to receive all of their favorite PBS programs and local WLJT specials. Hinman also stated, “If viewers receive WLJT over-the-air with an antenna or rabbit ears, the best thing they can do today is apply for up to two $40 discount coupons from the federal government to assist in the purchase of converter boxes. When they act now, they’ll avoid any last minute shortages or long waits for technical help as the deadline approaches. Plus most viewers will receive all digital channels the moment they plug in their new converter box.” Digital converter boxes are available at several retailers for between $40 and $70. After redeeming the $40 government discount coupons, the one time cost per converter box should be less than $30. Hinman said, “Some people see the change to digital TV as a chance to sell something — to force viewers to subscribe to cable or satellite services, or to purchase a new television set. People can accept or refuse any offer, but they will probably make better choices if they have the basic facts about what (if any) changes need to be made to TV sets in their home.” WLJT’s goal is to make sure its viewers have honest answers to their questions concerning the switch to all digital in 2009. “We want to separate fact from fiction,” said Hinman. “As a non-profit, public service organization it’s imperative that we do everything possible to make this change as smooth and easy as possible.” For more information visit WLJT-TV’s Web site at www.wljt.org. Published in The Messenger 6.25.08

Leave a Comment