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 firstname.lastname@example.org . I can also provide the agenda I use. The meeting usually last about one hour. Get involved.
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7/31/08 at 5:29pm