AfterDawn: Tech news

Is the FCC too optimistic about the first mass DTV transition?

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 23 Feb 2009 10:11 User comments (7)

Is the FCC too optimistic about the first mass DTV transition? In a statement last Thursday, acting FCC Commissioner Michael Copps seemed happy about how the first wave of the US DTV transition went. He said "Thanks to the movement of the deadline, we did not have anything like the extent of disruption we would have experienced had every station in the country gone completely digital. on Tuesday."
He called on everyone involved to make the remaining stations' transition even smoother, noting that "Most stations and most consumers still have the transition ahead of them." His remarks, were intended primarily for "cable and other companies, the many consumer organizations, and an absolutely inspired group of civil servants who all stepped up to the plate."

He failed to mention that the majority of consumer complaints related to areas where the FCC seems to have dropped the ball. The agency's call centers fielded more than 70,000 calls on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of last week. Most of them were about either the FCC-run voucher program or reception problems.

Read more in our Guides section
Preparing for the US DTV Transition
By far the largest number of complaints before the first wave of mass analog shut offs were related to obtaining DTV converters. Most of these calls were from people who either hadn't received their government vouchers yet, or had received a voucher but not used it within 90 days, allowing it to expire.

On Wednesday, February 18 phone calls to the FCC shifted from boxes to broadcasts. Since many TV stations waited until midnight on the 17th to turn off analog broadcasts off, this was the first day many viewers were forced to use their converters.

In total close to half of all callers on Wednesday had reception problems. Nearly a third complained they couldn't receive any channels, didn't have a good enough antenna, or were getting a weak signal. Almost 17% said they were unable to get a specific station they wanted to watch.

There have been warnings from numerous experts that signal strength would be an issue for many viewers, but the FCC has stood by their optimistic estimates indicating most viewers would still be able to tune in the same stations they watched in analog form.

Previous Next  

7 user comments

123.2.2009 13:21
looser_ur
Inactive

Ha Ha Ha..........

It is truly hysterical picturing all the ghetto trash out there watching their favorite programs when .........BANG..........NADA.

That'll teach them to wait until the last minute to buy a tv that is somewhat current. Moreover, that'll teach them to rely solely upon the American Gov't to hand feed them a converter box. GO OUT AND BUY ONE..........or GO OUT AND BUY A TV. Sheeesh.........gimme a break. Get a grip people.

Learn German and "Kwitcherbichin"

223.2.2009 16:22

Many of our stations here in SanDiego made the change and aparantly the largest problem was the STUPID fact that people didn't realize that they had to "rescan" the channels to receive the new digital ones!!!
Now that's just plain stoopid.

323.2.2009 17:02

No one seems to realize exactly WHY they decided to turn off all analogs in the first place.

423.2.2009 18:39

Originally posted by BOW07108:
No one seems to realize exactly WHY they decided to turn off all analogs in the first place.
you mean so the gov't can turn around and resell all the newly opened bandwaves to make even more money???

523.2.2009 18:45

On 17 February, half of our stations dropped the analog signal. It was kinda disappointing: No rioting in the streets, no bands of paramilitaries calling for recruits, there was still food on the store shelves... To the contrary, I woke up on the 18th, and the sun was shining in HD colour and the birds were singing in 5.1 Dolby stereo :-)
Actually, two of the cutoff stations moved their HD broadcast back to the original VHF channels, which made the reception a little better.

627.2.2009 13:23

Originally posted by looser_ur:
Ha Ha Ha..........

It is truly hysterical picturing all the ghetto trash out there watching their favorite programs when .........BANG..........NADA.

That'll teach them to wait until the last minute to buy a tv that is somewhat current. Moreover, that'll teach them to rely solely upon the American Gov't to hand feed them a converter box. GO OUT AND BUY ONE..........or GO OUT AND BUY A TV. Sheeesh.........gimme a break. Get a grip people.

Learn German and "Kwitcherbichin"
Tough talk for a guy sitting behind a keyboard. I'd like to see you move that soapbox down to my neighborhood and repeat what you just said. I'm afraid you wouldn't make it back to your gated community...

Internet balls are always bigger than the real thing, aren't they?

72.3.2009 17:40

Yep...watched analog TV fine for years. DTV signal provides nothing watchable where I live unless you like watching swirling blocks of video data and scratched CD's.

Comments have been disabled for this article.

News archive