The digital test

Wilmington, North Carolina today became the first community in the country to experience digital TV transmission. The switch-over, which occurred at 11 a.m. CT, was expected to show whatever flaws exist in the plan to end analog TV signals next year. The biggest problem appears to be telling people analog transmissions are going to end. Twenty-three percent of those surveyed in Wilmington didn’t know that today was the day the old Zenith would stop working.

It’ll be 162 days before Minnesota’s TV stations turn off the analog signal. Most of those affected are those who use rabbit ears or a rooftop antenna to receive the signals. Cable TV and satellite TV customers may be mostly unaffected (but it wouldn’t hurt to call the company to find out).

Eighty-five percent of people in this country now get their TV from either cable or satellite. About 500,000 people in Minnesota get their TV “over the air.”

So how’s the big test going in Wilmington? There was a last-minute run on converter boxes, and some stores ran out.

  • brian

    I am one of the 15% too cheep to pay for TV. We got the converter box a few months ago and haven’t had many problems. Some of the extra channels we get are nice.

    I’m not sure how it’ll work for people who get fuzzy TV signals now (like at the cabin). You either get signal or you don’t. Even living in Minneapolis there are some channels that are jerky (like for satelite TV in the rain). That is MUCH more annoying than fuzz.

  • Derek

    If the government spent 1/10th the money getting people to vote as they spent on letting people know the Digital TV transition was coming I think voter turnout would triple.

    I will be glad when DTV finally happens, those commercials are driving me mad.

  • brian

    They have DTV commercials on channels that you can only get with DTV… I’m not really sure what the purpose of those are.

  • Sally West

    Where can I order a converter box for my tv?

    I thought I could order them thru MPR,but I can’t find a place to place an order.

    Please respond.

    Thanks, sally west