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Summary:

After a bump in the road that lasted four whole months, the national switch to digital TV transmission is upon us. We presume that this won’t impact most of our tech-savvy readership, but there are still nearly 3 million U.S. homes completely unprepared for the transition. […]

DTV_CountdownAfter a bump in the road that lasted four whole months, the national switch to digital TV transmission is upon us. We presume that this won’t impact most of our tech-savvy readership, but there are still nearly 3 million U.S. homes completely unprepared for the transition. While that’s a sizable chunk, it’s better than the 6 million that were unprepared around the original switch date.

Some 641 TV stations were shut off by the original switch date back in February and there’s been a test since then and the world didn’t implode, so hopefully today will be a non-event.

Our colleague Jennifer Martinez over at GigaOM, did a nice wrap-up of some of the companies benefiting from the switch:

For the string of companies affected by the delay, it will be a sweet way to end the week. Verizon can finally begin its LTE deployment, Qualcomm can expand its MediaFLO service to new markets including San Francisco and Miami, and Cox Wireless can move ahead with its launch of 3G and 4G trials on the spectrum.

According to Knowledge Networks, the DTV transition has also been a boon to pay TV services and HD TV manufacturers and retailers as people upgraded their old equipment.

Of course, as with any government mandated change, there are conspiracy theorists who say the switch will lead to mind control, weather control and a massive destructo-beam.

  1. The Digital TV transition is no trouble at all if your cables are correctly polarized. Go to Screen 47 of the DTV Converter Box On-Screen Installation Guide and use the resident GPS to correctly align your antenna for each channel, allowing for local ionospheric conditions, and ARRRGGGHH!

    Technical reference:

    http://notionscapital.wordpress.com/2009/06/12/tv-d-day-usa/

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  2. [...] our local broadcast stations are still coming through, though as the evening wears on they’re due to wander off into the moonlight. For now, here’s a video tribute to analog oldteevee. My little Flipcam doesn’t like to [...]

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  3. In case it could be of any help, I wrote a post on DTV antenna: http://lowtechtimes.com/2009/06/05/dtv-antenna-buying-guide/

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  4. michael jennings Sunday, June 14, 2009

    There is more to it than the “just being prepared” or knowing how to hook up a converter box.
    There are several communities that have lost over the air because the are out of the coverage area of the new digital signals.
    I live where cable is not available [San Juan Islands, WA]. I received without problem all of the local networks out of Seattle for 20 years with an outdoor antenna.
    They are all gone now. Yes I have a converter, yes I know how to hook it up and scan/rescan. Yes I have my antenna pointed in the right direction.
    Simple fact is the digital signal is significantly “weaker” than the analog, and more effected by terrain and weather.

    Mot stations have posted “coverage maps” and they seem to be accurate for the new signal but understated the range of the old analog signal. Maybe just trying to make it look better on paper.

    I suspect that there are many more rural communities that will be negatively effected. Well we are after all the bastard step children of the country.

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  5. [...] Switch Sans Big Glitch TV stations across the U.S. shut down their analog transmissions on Friday, and so far the national switch to digital television appears to be going without any [...]

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  6. rather than mess with any of the conversion devices, etc, i figure why not just got a new TV and cable… works like a charm with no hassle

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  7. [...] says the adoption was spurred by falling HDTV prices and the dearth of non-HDTV sets available. (Shutting off analog TV transmissions didn’t hurt [...]

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