OTA HDTV Reception Q&A

Updates on the DTV transition and how to receive over-the-air digital television for free.

Location: Richmond, IL, United States

Hello there! I created this blog to share the information about over-the-air HDTV reception you have been wearily searching the Web or calling technical lines for, whether you have decided for less expensive means to get your favorite TV shows, or still adjusting from the over the air broadcast DTV transition that occurred on June 12, 2009. After working for a leading antenna manufacturer for almost 5 years, during which time I've shared my expertise with those who asked on the phone and by email at work, I decided to do the same in the Blogosphere! Confused about getting your local HD channels? Just click through the archives, some of the most useful information is in the early posts from 2005-06. If you want to get in touch with me with antenna related questions, just leave a comment anywhere on this site.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


In the state where the first ever DTV station began over-the-air broadcasting about 10 years ago, a small TV market has agreed to be a beta test for the loss of analog off-air TV signals. Four full-power TV stations in the Wilmington, N.C. market have agreed to shut down their analog signals on September 8, 2008, ahead of the February 17 2009 shutoff date for the rest of the nation's full-power broadcast TV signals, to see how viewers would react to losing their reception of off-air broadcasts by not upgrading their old TV sets. This came following the request of FCC chair Michael Copps in March to see about doing a test run of ending over-the-air analog broadcasts for a short time to prepare for any kind of a public reaction to the end of over-the-air analog broadcasts despite the efforts of the NAB and local stations to make viewers aware of the DTV transition.

The PBS affiliate in the area which is a satellite of a statewide public television service will not participate in this test and will continue their analog broadcast in September as well as a low-power MyNetworkTV affiliate, which would not be affected by the transition at this time, anyway. However, the stations may run a crawl informing viewers who did not get a DTV converter and switching channels what has happened. Additionally, some households in this small market may still be able to receive and view analog signals from outside the Wilmington market.

Based on an early survey, the community has some work to do to make their viewers aware of this experiment. Only 18 percent of those surveyed in the market are aware of this early shutdown, while 29 percent answered February 17, 2009 as the shutoff date.

Still, it is likely that come September there may some national media interest in this experiment that will help make the rest of the nation aware of the transition and prepare their sets for February 2009, and it will allow the FCC and those involved in the transition to be ready to react from any kind of public outcry and unrest when many analog TV broadcasts suddenly go dark.


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