Happy New Year!
Many of us are more than happy to see 2008 draw to a close and have the promises of a brand new year unfold. Even though we "more experienced hands" with the gray hair have been around long enough to know that every New Year brings new challenges, somehow January 1 gives us a bit of a boost and a new outlook that says we can handle them all.
For all of us who enjoy watching television, the New Year will bring changes very quickly. February 17, just 48 days into the New Year, brings the biggest TV change of all when stations turn off their analog broadcast signals and deliver programs to you exclusively in digital. The TVs that you have that are connected to cable or satellite won't notice the change, but those TVs hooked to antennas or "rabbit ears" will not work. You will only receive snow. Broadcasters will be hammering this point home hard between now and February 17. This should ultimately be a change for the better.
BUT, for every good change, there is what I call Chet's Law of Unintended Consequences." While the change to digital means that you will have more over-the-air programs to choose from, it also means that we have to change the WTVP monthly program guide to let you know about all those additional programs and when and where you can find them. Our challenge is to fit three channels worth of information into one compact booklet. We're finding that it's a lot like trying to fit two quarts of milk in a one-quart bottle.
So the first thing you'll notice is that this month's guide is a different size and shape than what you're used to. This new size gives us a little more room to give you more information about the regular WTVP schedule on 47.1 (which as of February 1 will be our high definition service), the new PBS World service on 47.2 and the Create service on 47.3. For a description of World see pages 12 & 13, and for a description of Create see pages 14 & 15.
The next thing you'll notice is that there will be fewer program descriptions and more grids. This is strictly a space issue and an attempt to give you as many listings as possible. Complete listings for each program and information links to program and series websites will be available at www.wtvp.org.
President & CEO, WTVP (Retired)