For Twin Cities, digital TV transition off to a smooth start
Updated: 06/12/2009 01:21:45 PM CDT
It's time to adjust your set. Digital TV arrives today in the Twin Cities.The DTV transition: The all-you-need-to-know guideThe long-anticipated and much-ballyhooed digital-television transition has begun in the Twin Cities, and appears to be proceeding smoothly so far.
Twin Cities Public Television at 9 a.m. was the first local broadcaster to go all digital by today's federally mandated cut-off, when U.S. stations must end analog broadcasts.
TPT then braced for calls from viewers, but received only three by 11 a.m. and about 30 by noon, said Glenn Fisher, executive vice president of broadcast services. Most callers were wondering why TPT didn't end analog broadcasts at midnight, when other local stations are scheduled to do so.
A few frantic callers needed guidance with digital-converter boxes and antennas in order to continue getting shows on their older TVs, Fisher said.
As the analog-TV era nears its end, a last-minute scramble is on across the metro area. Converter boxes are flying off the shelves of local electronics stores, and a small army of community-assistance workers is laboring to ensure the poor, elderly and non-English-speaking are not left behind.
Local DTV-preparedness efforts culminate today with a major public event from 1 to 4 p.m. at Powderhorn Park in Minneapolis. Clinics in five languages will instruct attendees in converter-box use, and those who have converter-box coupons from the federal government can walk away with converters that are equal the value of those $40 coupons.
Those needing DTV-transition assistance can call the Twin Cities DTV Resource Line at 612-246-3017 or the Federal Communication Commission's DTV help line at 1-888-225-5322. Or see the Pioneer Press' DTV site at tr.im/dtvhelp