Immediately after the NTSC plug was pulled, I fired up my only remaining analog television device – an ElGato EyeTV Hyrbid (ATSC + NTSC) USB stick. Leading up to June 12th, many over-the-air (OTA) broadcasts contained crawls alerting folks to he transition. But I was expecting to find some sort of message on those vacated frequencies for a week or so, reinforcing what had happened and what to do next. No dice, all I found was static.
As part of their transition, many broadcasters changed/swapped frequencies. According to reports, this generated the most issues and calls into the FCC DTV hotlines. In fact, I heard from my mom who had lost some channels on her kitchen TV using the converter I got her last year. With low expectations (she’s not really geeky at all), I told her she could try poking around the menu looking for some sort of ‘rescan’ option until I found time to walk her through it. Fortunately, it must have been simple/clear enough as she managed to recover her lost channels – and a few new ones, too.
I received a similar complaint from a work buddy and suggested he rescan. Unfortunately, that didn’t resolve the problem. He’s lost both ABC and CBS in HD here in the DC region. Turns out WJLA (ABC) and WUSA (CBS) migrated from UHF to VHF as part of their transition. And thousands of local folks have lost reception. Last weekend, I confirmed the reception/power issue at a Starbucks near work (Sterling, VA) and home (Rockville, MD) using the aforementioned ElGato tuner. It’s sadly ironic as CBS always had the strongest ATSC signal in the region and was the first to go HD with their nightly news. And now they serve nothing but a blank screen, aka the ‘digital cliff‘ strikes. My DTVPal is able to pull in WUSA – probably a combination of a more powerful/better tuner in a wooden structure versus the USB tuner at a nearby SBUX. (Used the same antenna in all three scenarios.)
Lastly, as Brent and others have noted, many of the HTPC guide providers (i.e. Microsoft) were caught unprepared.
So, how’d your transition go?