TV Stations Complete DTV Switchover; Chicagoans upset

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Posted by on June 15, 2009 at 12:05:50:

TV Stations Complete DTV Switchover

By Staff

TVNEWSDAY, Jun 15 2009, 7:01 AM ET

Broadcast stations reported few technical problems in the switch to DTV-only TV on Friday, but it was a different story for some viewers, according to a story in the Wall Street Journal.

Written by Amy Schatz, the story said a record 317,000 calls flooded a national call center set up by the FCC and the Web site received 3.1 million page views. Consumers struggled to set up the set-top converter boxes that allow older TV sets to receive digital signals. Thousands more calls poured in to call-centers set up by local broadcasters across the U.S.

The agency was on track to receive 150,000 calls on Saturday, the story said. No shortages of set-top boxes were being reported, however, some stores were running out of antennas. Some viewers have found they need to install rooftop antennas to receive the new signals.

Nearly 30 percent of calls from frustrated viewers on Friday were about technical issues in setting up or using the set-top converters.

Many viewers who had already installed set-tops found they needed to rescan the boxes Friday after local stations shut off their old signals and many of the new channels moved to different frequencies.

Almost a fifth of callers reported reception issues, including lost channels or problems with the DTV signals breaking up, the story said.

Call volume was particularly heavy from Chicago, where some viewers in the downtown area were reporting problems seeing the local ABC affiliate's channel, the story said. DirecTV subscribers in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area were also reporting problems after there was a hiccup in the satellite TV provider getting the digital feed of some local stations.

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