Well, September is upon as and on Monday (September 8, 2008), Wilmington, North Carolina (DMA #135 for 2008, #134 for 2009) will be the first market in the country to "switch" off their analog transmitters. I will be monitoring information about the results of this switch and posting updates here. I would appreciate it if anyone in the market (or elsewhere) who hears of any issues or successes would post information in this thread as well; I will copy any information to this post so that it is easily read without having to dig through discussion.
Wilmington will still go through with the switch even with Tropical Storm Hanna in proximity (AP): FCC plans to go through with DTV test in NC
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All the news so far is about "plans to switch". Noon
is the time
to watch for
More details on the press conference are available here (pdf)
. (8-Sep-2008 07:58).
At the FCC's website, you can watch a streaming press conference
(prerecorded 10:30am - 12:15pm, not yet available at the time of this posting). (8-Sep-2008 12:30pm)
According to this LA Times article
, "Andrea Good, fire and life safety educator
for the city of Wilmington, said she had received about 15 calls [before 2pm] [from/about people unable to watch TV]." (8-Sep-2008 5:12pm)
Also note (same article) that "the FCC contracted with fire departments and other organizations in the Wilmington area to assist people who have difficulty obtaining or installing digital-to-analog converter boxes." I doubt this will be done for the rest of the country, and with the extra special treatment that Wilmington got, there were still issues. (8-Sep-2008 6:31pm)
According to this ars technica article
, the biggest problem thus far is consumers not realizing that they need to set their sets to a certain channel and use the converter box to tune, with the second-biggest problem being not putting batteries in the remote control. Other sources
not having the right antenna or having poor antenna positioning as being the largest problem. WECT, where Dan Ullmer, a key engineer in the switch, is Chief Engineer, is running a story post-transition
in an attempt to help more viewers.