To help viewers figure out the digital transition, KUED will conduct an on-air call-in event on the evening of Thursday, January 15, from 6 to 10 p.m. Staff members, as well as a representative from the FCC, will be in the studio to take viewer calls during regular programming. "We won't be interrupting the programs, but we will be available all evening to answer questions about converter boxes, coupons, antennas, digital TV sets and more," says KUED Broadcast Director Scott Chaffin. "Viewers just need to call 581-7777. We want the transition to be as painless as possible."
During the breaks at 8 p.m., 9 p.m. and 10 p.m., the station will conduct a test shut-off that offers a simple way to find out if the television set being watched is ready for the February 17 digital transition. If the screen goes to snow, the TV set is not digital-ready. If the set continues to get a picture, the television set is ready.
"We anticipate a lot of questions about the coupon program being out of funds and about antennas," says Chaffin.
With the switch to all-digital broadcasting less than a month away, KUED wants viewers to have the right information to make the choice that best fits their needs and budgets. In the world of digital television, the highest quality picture and the most local digital channels are available free of charge over the air with an indoor or outdoor antenna.
"Antennas might be considered 'old technology,' but they actually provide the best TV reception," says Chaffin. "That's because many of the digital signals sent through cable and satellite services are often compressed, which diminishes the quality of the picture."
The information below will provide details on how to prepare for the digital transition.
There are two ways to get ready:
Buy a Converter Box.
Buy a New Digital Television Set.
Make Sure Your Existing Antenna Works with Your New Converter Box or Digital TV Set.
Free, over-the-air TV with an indoor or outdoor antenna provides the very best possible picture you can get. If you have cable or satellite, you'll continue to get the same channels you already have, BUT, if you want all the local digital and HD channels, you'll need to upgrade to your provider's digital package and pay a higher monthly fee. And not every local digital channel may be carried by your service provider. Check with them.
Easy-to-understand instructions for installing a converter box can be found at: http://www.dtvtransition.org/downloads/converter_qsg.pdf
Television viewers can also go online and watch a quick video on installing the box here:
You can still use your VCR, but the tuner in your VCR won't be able to pick up over-the-air programs for recording. Instead, the input to the VCR must be connected to the output of the converter box. You must set the tuner in the converter box to the channel you want to record before the start of each recording period programmed in the VCR.
If you want to watch and record one program simultaneously, you will only need one converter box. However, if you want to watch one program and record a different channel at the same time, you will need two converter boxes.
Each TV set or TV recording device, such as a VCR, that does not have a digital tuner must be connected to a converter box to continue receiving broadcast signals.
Below is a link with all the specifics on how to hook up converter boxes with your VCR, DVR or DVD recorder:
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