sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

June 13, 2009

digital conversion, day 1
posted by soe 9:01 am

For those of you with cable or dish service, your transition to the digital tv broadcast era has probably been no more of a headache than putting up with a stream of news stories, commercials, and banner ads warning of the switchover. Those of us who receive our television over the airwaves (and particularly the subset of that group living in cities or remote areas), however, have spent the last few months fretting. Would we lose stations altogether? Would we have to put up with the flickering in and out on the stations we did get? (Again, those of us living in urban areas found it particularly trying that trucks passing by and helicopters flying overhead seemed to knock out perfectly good stations.)

By the time Rudi and I got home last night, the transition was complete. We rescanned with interest and a bit of trepidation: what would we find?

Of the stations we received back in the good old analog days, about two-thirds come in still, with the added boon of substations. I imagine this will be particularly nice when trying to learn foreign languages, as MhZ now offers us five different stations that focus on international and diaspora programming. We also get NBC, Fox, myNetworkTV, ION, Univision, and the CW. And with most of these stations, it looks like the signal amplification they were allowed to implement yesterday has done the trick of traffic taking out our signal.

Unfortunately, we have not yet found a way to pull in CBS or ABC (who made the decision to leave behind the VHF bands in favor of UHF), or any of the three PBS stations we used to get.

I’m hopeful that Rudi and I will be able to find spots in the living room where the antenna pulls in those key missing stations. PBS will be a particular loss, since their online offerings are woeful compared to what they air on tv.

And, yes, if we don’t regain them, there are always videos, online offerings, and, even, turning the tv off.

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