We Need to be Helping Others with Transition - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 157 Old 07-31-2008, 05:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Many of the participants in this CECB thread are early adopters and "experts" in the DTV transition. We have one or more DTV converter boxes and familiar with how to install them and know about the problems. After watching a recorded video of a FCC workshop http://www.fcc.gov/realaudio/workshops.html titled DTV Consumer Education Workshop (Low-Income Consumers) of April 1, 2008, I came to the conclusion that help to install DTV converter boxes was going to be required. At the time, I had just installed my Zenith DTT-900 converter box and felt I had some valuable experience. I contacted my local city manager (Palo Alto CA) and suggested that many people are going to need help hooking up their converter boxes and offered to teach a class. Within a week I was contacted and the first workshop was held in May. We now hold a workshop once a month on the second Wednesday. After the first meeting, I got a better feeling (feedback form) what was needed and developed a set of handouts that include a glossary, list of valuable web sites, a list of DVD/VHS ATSC recorders that are available and maybe most valuable a set of hookup diagrams for all possible setups (6 figures). The biggest problem area for people is the VCR. They are unaware they need a second converter box for the VCR. I also have a set of flip charts to walk through the agenda. We have 2 analog TVs and run the outside antenna to a splitter with one output going directly to one TV and the second output going to a DTV converter box and then run the coax output from the converter to the second TV. We go through the steps of hooking up the coax. Then turn on the TVs and show difference between the regular analog TV and TV with the converter. Then I go over the operation of the Remote and go through process of scanning for channels, signal level, program guide, closed caption, etc. I also go over the coupon program too. Then go over Q & A and as I mentioned VCRs come up most. The elderly seem to need the most help. This is all so confusing to them. I had one little old lady come up to me before the meeting started and stated, "I feel I got just got shaft..., oh I never said that before." Some people are hard of hearing and get confused too. So, if it at all possible how about helping in your locality. Contact your city or town officials with your offer to assist. They could or should come up with the TVs and meeting location. Let me know if would like copies of the handouts. You can also get FCC handouts from roger.goldblatt@fcc.gov . I can also provide the agenda I use. The meeting usually last about one hour. Get involved.
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post #2 of 157 Old 07-31-2008, 06:03 PM
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I find that I'm providing LOTS of help right here - so many people just don't have any idea how this all works. If they get here, I point them in the right directions.

You CAN put antennas on your owned and/or controlled property...
http://www.fcc.gov/mb/facts/otard.html

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post #3 of 157 Old 07-31-2008, 07:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scooper View Post

I find that I'm providing LOTS of help right here - so many people just don't have any idea how this all works. If they get here, I point them in the right directions.

The Consumer Reports discussion area "Digital TV transition--Getting ready" has just a few discussions. That CR area is found here:

http://discussions.consumerreports.o...r-0403eltelevi

Within some of those discussions may be found several links to the AVS Forum. There are certainly some finding their way to this Forum through those links.

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post #4 of 157 Old 07-31-2008, 07:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scooper View Post

I find that I'm providing LOTS of help right here - so many people just don't have any idea how this all works. If they get here, I point them in the right directions.

Scooper,
The problem is that the people that need assistance don't have computers and get really confused with all this new stuff. They just want it the way it was.
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post #5 of 157 Old 07-31-2008, 07:37 PM
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I'm sorry - I don't have the time do that "community thing" - I work evenings and THIS is what I can do. Help you guys help them.

You CAN put antennas on your owned and/or controlled property...
http://www.fcc.gov/mb/facts/otard.html

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post #6 of 157 Old 07-31-2008, 07:44 PM
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I agree with pestocat that we need to help others on the digital transition, especially the elderly who are used to good old analog television. They are going to be most confused on the transition. Around here, people don't understand that if they have cable or satellite that they don't need to worry about losing their television so they go to wal-mart and buy all the converter boxes(explains where all the DTA800B1's went).
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post #7 of 157 Old 07-31-2008, 08:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pestocat View Post

The problem is that the people that need assistance ... get really confused with all this new stuff. They just want it the way it was.

Good job Pesto. I have started with my elderly church friends. 61231 is fringe for indoor antennas. A nearby village does not have cable and many are still using rabbit ears & OTA antennas. Due to a media blitz, many people now have their coupons. I am building & installing Utube antennas for those using rabbit ears. Every person so far is very pleased with digital TV. The clear pictures and a few extra channels are great. They catch on quick to words like drop-out and pixelating. LOL. Only two people so far actually use their VCR for taping. They accept that they cannot watch one channel & tape another, saying they never did that anyway.
I believe I will have to help many of them next Feb when 4.1 and 12.1 change RF frequencies and the boxes need to be rescanned.
I did meet and old farmer in local Radio Shack buying 3 CECBs. He kept saying that d*mn Bush. He said he already had DISH but RS said he need boxes for all TV sets. Hmm! I think he needs a different source of help.
LL

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post #8 of 157 Old 08-01-2008, 02:34 AM
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Great job pestocat and spokybob.


Ive thoroughly tested, researched, and endlessly babbled about Indoor Antenna solutions....and created a guide with photos and lots of links to information for those who wish to dig deeper. Hopefully, that will help many with the transition, or help those who help others.

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post #9 of 157 Old 08-01-2008, 04:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spokybob View Post

I did meet and old farmer in local Radio Shack buying 3 CECBs. He kept saying that d*mn Bush. He said he already had DISH but RS said he need boxes for all TV sets. Hmm! I think he needs a different source of help.

Anyone who takes advice from Radio Shack is... well. Im surprised they didn't sell him a phone while they were at it

Mad Scientist :)
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post #10 of 157 Old 08-01-2008, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by tvropro View Post

Anyone who takes advice from Radio Shack is... well. Im surprised they didn't sell him a phone while they were at it

No doubt they tried.

Back to the topic: off-line I'm glad to help people who ask, but not so eager to stick my nose in and raise the subject when nobody else was talking about it.
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post #11 of 157 Old 08-01-2008, 10:50 AM
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Pestocat, maybe you could use some of my Antenna information in your presentations.


But, Im no expert. Just an enthusiast.

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post #12 of 157 Old 08-01-2008, 11:04 AM
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someone posted that in the coming months all the main OTA stations will be airing a 1/2 show at 7 pm of the transition and what will be needed. It will explain everything need to know but of course some will not get it. I had an old women down the block come down to my house cursing the cable guy because she could not get it to work. I told her did you set your TV to channel 3, well she was using the TV remote and not the the cable box one. I pointed out to her leave the TV set to channel 3 and only use the cable remote, she was so happy cable TV was back. Same thing again happened to a women in jersey who again i had to tell her leave the TV on channel 3 and only use the cable remote, she said I'm a genius.
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post #13 of 157 Old 08-01-2008, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dagger666 View Post

well she was using the TV remote and not the the cable box one

Just introducing a second remote into the living room can be very confusing to some viewers. There are two solutions that seem to help:
  1. Select a CECB whose remote has a power button for the television, e.g. the Insignia/Zenith, and hide the other remote
  2. Program the television remote to control the CECB, and hide the other remote
In either case, lettering on the remote might be hard to read; applying labels with larger font size (such as from a Brother p-Touch) helps.
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post #14 of 157 Old 08-01-2008, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by dattier View Post

Back to the topic: off-line I'm glad to help people who ask, but not so eager to stick my nose in and raise the subject when nobody else was talking about it.

Dattier, I try to focus on the folks who I know only watch OTA TV. For those folks, I do raise the subject. Many times, they already have questions, and are happy to have someone answer them.

Sadly, a number of times the response was "I'm waiting until I have to do something about it" . A normal reaction to gov't mandated change, but it doesn't bode well for February. If they are good friends, I nudge them to think ahead.

I have occasionally brought it up with DBS and cable subscribers, but if they show little interest, I drop it again.
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post #15 of 157 Old 08-01-2008, 11:44 AM
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Consider this: most people in the US know how to get an analog TV to work.
How many of those currently know the ins and outs of DTV?

Oh well, if their knowledgeable friends and family won't help them figure it out, they can always rely on the CECB manual, or ask their local Radio Shack guy for help.

After all, the TV announcements told them all they need is rabbit ears and a converter box and they'll be good to go. What else is there to know?
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post #16 of 157 Old 08-01-2008, 09:26 PM
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My husband and I are in our sixties. We are so overwhelmed by our new converter boxes that we have turned them off. Don't know what we will do when the conversion takes place. We cannot understand how to use our VCR player & remote, our DVD player & remote, our original TV remote and now the new converter boxes remotes. We are hooked up correctly and recently learned from your forum to block one converter box when using the remote to change stations. But each time we have tried to record on our VCR while the converter boxes are on, we are thoroughly confused. Is there a source to teach us to use these remotes in some sequence that will allow us to record a station other than what we are watching? We are so confused now that we cannot even use our DVD or VCR to watch prerecorded material. So, my husband turned the converter boxes off and went back to his old way of doing things. I am so frustrated. I have tried so hard to understand and make the transition. I'm not giving up...please help me.
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post #17 of 157 Old 08-01-2008, 09:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CasualOTAer View Post

For those folks, I do raise the subject.

And I'm not saying you're wrong, just that it doesn't work for everyone.
Quote:


If they are good friends, ...

then that's a different situation from bringing it up ex nihilo with nodding acquaintances.
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post #18 of 157 Old 08-01-2008, 10:02 PM
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drober, Im not up on VCR/Converter Box usage. Sorry.

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post #19 of 157 Old 08-01-2008, 10:09 PM
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Mrs Drober: Pestocat contacted city hall. That would be a place to start. Your local community college might be another. I mentioned this thread to a teacher who said she will check with her school about starting a program. Try asking your friends and neighbors. I'm sure one of their kids or grandkids would love to help you out. I enjoy helping folks such as you. And by the way there are people of ALL ages that are confused.
Does the back of your TV look like this?

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post #20 of 157 Old 08-01-2008, 10:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drober View Post

My husband and I are in our sixties. We are so overwhelmed by our new converter boxes that we have turned them off. Don't know what we will do when the conversion takes place. We cannot understand how to use our VCR player & remote, our DVD player & remote, our original TV remote and now the new converter boxes remotes. We are hooked up correctly and recently learned from your forum to block one converter box when using the remote to change stations. But each time we have tried to record on our VCR while the converter boxes are on, we are thoroughly confused. Is there a source to teach us to use these remotes in some sequence that will allow us to record a station other than what we are watching? We are so confused now that we cannot even use our DVD or VCR to watch prerecorded material. So, my husband turned the converter boxes off and went back to his old way of doing things. I am so frustrated. I have tried so hard to understand and make the transition. I'm not giving up...please help me.

(Considering the topic of this thread) -
If this post is for real and not a gag, need the following information :

TV brand / model (or at least how many and what kind of inputs it has),
how you connected your VCR and DVD player to the TV,
how many and what brand /model of convertor boxes you have,
and what are you wanting to do (and a simple "just watch TV" doesn't cut it here - I mean something like "using the TV remote, select among different sources, and I want to be able to watch digital TV while also recording another digital TV show")

You CAN put antennas on your owned and/or controlled property...
http://www.fcc.gov/mb/facts/otard.html

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post #21 of 157 Old 08-01-2008, 11:13 PM
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Scooper, dont be so jaded. I know its easy to be jaded in this world.

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post #22 of 157 Old 08-12-2008, 01:02 PM
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Bummer we lost some good posts in this thread.

I am going to offer to help people at my church first - sort of get my feet wet with folks I know. From there, I may offer to do a class through the local library, since I already volunteer there. Let's save our communities from spending money they don't need to on pay TV!

I love the digital transition. The voices in my head just say 0 and 1 now.
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post #23 of 157 Old 08-12-2008, 01:22 PM
 
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In the erased messages, I made the point that the quickest, easiest solution is to help people buy Limited Cable or Satellite (locals only) for about $15 a month.

Basically it's a matter of opportunity cost:

- Do I want to spend an hour/person explaining the difficult task of wiring a box to a TV, plus picking-out a new rooftop antenna, plus running wires inside the wall?

- Or 5 minutes saying "buy locals-only cable/dish"?
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post #24 of 157 Old 08-12-2008, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by electrictroy View Post

In the erased messages, I made the point that the quickest, easiest solution is to help people buy Limited Cable or Satellite (locals only) for about $15 a month.

In my experience, $180 per year is a big hit to the budget of the people most needing assistance. If that had that much disposable income they wouldn't need the $40 subsidy for a CECB.

For somebody on a fixed income, in a period of inflation and especially escalating energy costs, an extra $180 a year for basic television is a lot.
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post #25 of 157 Old 08-12-2008, 01:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by partsman_ba View Post

Bummer we lost some good posts in this thread.
I am going to offer to help people at my church first - sort of get my feet wet with folks I know.

I'm sure there are some folks left that need help. I'm all caught up with folks I know.
... We lost some posts about misinformed clerks and customers.

Bob 61231
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post #26 of 157 Old 08-12-2008, 01:39 PM
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zqx: I agree!

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post #27 of 157 Old 08-12-2008, 01:40 PM
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Not everyone has $180 to spare, year after year. Besides, cable does not carry all the local stations ("must carry"), and generally has one subchannel per major network.
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post #28 of 157 Old 08-12-2008, 01:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by electrictroy View Post

In the erased messages, I made the point that the quickest, easiest solution is to help people buy Limited Cable or Satellite (locals only) for about $15 a month.

Yes, you keep saying that over and over and over again. We read it the first time.

A lifetime of obligation for paid service is NOT cost effective in the long run and is an affront to those who want to be free of corporate servitude. I will NEVER have cable or satellite or hi-speed internet (dialup forever here) just for those reasons.

Of course the pharmaceutical companies are even better at getting people hooked for a lifetime. Personally, I'd rather be dead than doctored and drugged!!!

And I'd rather have no TV than have to pay for it.
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post #29 of 157 Old 08-12-2008, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by golinux View Post

A lifetime of obligation for paid service is NOT cost effective in the long run and is an affront to those who want to be free of corporate servitude. I will NEVER have cable or satellite or hi-speed internet (dialup forever here) just for those reasons.

Dialup is NOT a valid compromise to cut household costs. I'd pick another hill do die on.
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post #30 of 157 Old 08-12-2008, 03:37 PM
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Dialup is NOT a valid compromise to cut household costs. I'd pick another hill do die on.

It works for me. FWIW, principle not cost is the main reason.
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