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Next year’s switch from analog to digital TV broadcasts could produce more noise than signal, disrupting service for millions of people even if they have the proper converter box, according to a new study from market research firm Centris. Centris says that the FCC has underestimated […]

Next year’s switch from analog to digital TV broadcasts could produce more noise than signal, disrupting service for millions of people even if they have the proper converter box, according to a new study from market research firm Centris.

Centris says that the FCC has underestimated the size of the problem. At issue is the distance digital TV signals can travel, and how interference from hills or even trees will impact reception. Analog signals degrade gradually (hence the “snowy” picture), while digital signals just drop off entirely. Centris predicts that in a city like Philadelphia, which has a lot of hills, five percent of the over-the-air TVs could lose reception.

Taking issue with the Centris report is the Association for Maximum Service Television (MSTV). It is still evaluating the study, but doesn’t believe the problems will be as widespread as Centris claims. In the case of New York, broadcasters have had issues since 9/11 with stations having to move from the World Trade Center to the Empire State Building, MTSV notes.

The FCC itself has acknowledged that some disruption to service may be unavoidable with the digital transition, and is looking to launch a full-on ad blitz to educate the public. Roughly 15.5 million U.S. homes still receive TV over the air. Lawmakers are concerned that the switch will impact seniors and low-income residents who won’t hear about the news.

  1. [...] Read the rest of this post Print Sphere Comment Tagged: digital television, DTV | permalink [...]

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  2. I’m spending more and more time watching internet television anyway.

    http://www.RSSLiveTV.com

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  3. Consumer Reports and HearUsNow.org have a great information site on DTV.
    http://www.hearusnow.org/tvradio/12/

    And they set up a way to share your experience with the transition to digital television.
    http://cu.convio.net/HUN_shareyourDTVstorypage

    Consumer Reports site with all the info: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/electronics-computers/news-electronics-computers/pulling-the-plug-on-analog-tv-206/index.htm

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  4. [...] DTV, CBS Sports, MyLifetime Dispute Overt DTV Transition Study Goes On; as we reporter earlier, Centris and MSTV continue their debate over just how big a disruption to service there will be. [...]

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  5. Very nice site. I am looking forward to more on the subject of DTV.

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  6. I am glad someone is address this. I have obtained a converter box with a Gov issued coupon and have many drop out problems due to tree cover. I am approximately 45 miles from the transmitters but can not lock into the signal due to tree interference. My analog signal is decent but the digital is non existant. I may be force into a dish because of this change.

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