Thursday, February 19, 2009

First wave of digital TV transition goes smoothly

Remind me, why did we have to push back the digital television transition deadline to June 12?
Oh, yeah, President Barack Obama was worried about making his first major gaffe in office and played it super safe.
All that handwringing about people not being ready for the digital TV switchover was apparently for naught.
On Tuesday, the original deadline, 421 full-power TV stations made the switch to digital-only broadcasts. The Federal Communications Commission and the stations themselves reported a minimal number of phone calls from concerned viewers.
“The volume of viewer calls received following the transition paled in comparison to the 12.4 million over-the-air only households that were in affected markets,” Jonathan Collegio, vice president for digital television transition at the National Association of Broadcasters, said in a statement today.
The NAB estimates that most stations received an average of 50 to 200 calls each, according to news reports.
A third of U.S. TV stations now have switched to digital-only broadcasts. The stations that shut off their analog signals on Tuesday joined 220 other stations that the FCC allowed to make the switch early.

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