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Transition to DTV - A Y2K Moment!

by Sachin Balagopalan on June 12, 2009 · 1 comment

The long and tedious transition from analog to digital signal is thankfully over as television stations across the United States powered down their analog signals today. All the hoopla leading to this day reminded me of the Y2K debacle leading up to the millennium. One saw a resurgence of COBOL and FORTRAN programmers, some of them called out of retirement to fix the “date problem” in legacy code. Just as it was back then on 01/01/00,  today was apparently a tense day as this NYT post reports …

The transition day was a tense one at some stations, as they ended analog broadcasts and awaited calls from viewers still confused by the changeover and others having reception problems. According to Nielsen, about 2.8 million homes are completely unprepared for the transition. An additional 9.5 million homes are only partly ready, meaning that they may have upgraded some of their TVs, but not all of them.

“Still confused by the change over” !!!  I guess they must have not been watching any TV at all  - all those commercials advertising the $30 converter boxes!

… and here’s what really gets me …

Many of the viewers who called WAFB, the CBS affiliate in Baton Rouge, La., claimed they did not know about the transition, despite incessant TV advertising and community outreach. Sandy Breland, the general manager of WAFB, said most of the calls came immediately after the switch at 7 a.m. and involved rescanning of sets. (Because some stations are moving to new positions on the dial, viewers must reset their television lineups to see all the channels.)

“Did not know”? :)


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

bowler 06.12.09 at 11:52 pm

i'm glad that the switch is finally happening… it seems like they've been talking about it for years now

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