Last month an experiment was held in Wilmington, NC, to see what problems might result from the impending shut off of analog on February 17, 2009...less than five months from now. Things did not go as smoothly as hoped, and broadcasters and the federal government learned that there is still a long way to go to assure a seamless transition to digital broadcasting.
The major problems seemed to be lumped into a few categories; people didn't know what was happening; people were aware of what was happening but didn't know what to do about it; and, the conversion equipment did not work properly.
The first two problems are being addressed by all television stations. In fact, you're probably sick of hearing about the analog shut off if you've already made your preparations. If you haven't, here are things in a nutshell: If you are receiving your television signals from cable or satellite, you should have no problems. If you are receiving your television signals from an antenna ("rabbit ears," for instance), then you either need to buy a new digital television with receiver or get a converter box.
To help with equipment problems and to show you how to hook things up properly, WTVP will hold an open house in early November. We will have engineers on hand to answer your questions and give hands-on demonstrations on how easy it is to hook up the boxes. In addition, station officials will hold special training sessions for social service agencies that normally visit the elderly and others in their homes to give them the same information so they can pass it on to their clients. Also, watch for special programming and cooperative efforts from all Peoria area television stations that will help you through the process.
President & CEO, WTVP (Retired)