Tuesday, September 09, 2008

What's Up In Wilmington? More Reports

The reports are starting to come in now, and at least one national TV news outlet recognized the importance of this story (unlike the cable news networks I was watching earlier today) - here's the clip from NBC Nightly News. That clip finished by telling the audience that things had gone smoothly, which was more or less true.

The "less" part was the greater than expected number of phone calls that came in to various call centers. The general impression I get from the stories I saw here and here and here (the comments section specifically) was that of converter box problems (mostly reception) much more than unawareness of the change, which was something I alluded to in my first post today.

We should know more about the extent of that situation (and what is needed to fix it) in the next couple of days, so I'll see you then.

3 Comments:

At 11:56 AM, Anonymous jim heartney said...

A couple of issues that were fairly predictable: reception problems, and the fact that many consumers didn't realize that digital was already available, so they waited until the last minute to try out their converters.

The second was avoidable, and was caused by many of the awareness spots saying things along the lines of "digital is coming" rather than the more accurate and helpful "digital is here right now." Many of the spots I've seen had this problem. One that didn't was one I saw on PBS (featuring the "This Old House" guys) that correctly presented all the most important information and didn't just punt to a website, unlike some of the other spots that ran on commercial TV stations.

The reception problems have always struck me as being a more difficult area to address than the converter box issue. Reception will vary by location, and plenty of locations (my house, for example) get mediocre digital reception off rabbit ears. Further, some rabbit ears work better than others (I had widely varying results with two different rabbit ear setups I tried here). Dealing with that takes time, as consumers will need to try different things to pull in good signal. If more of the affected people were aware that they can try out their converters right now and get their issues dealt with in advance of the deadline, we'd have much less hassle than if large numbers think they have to wait till February to try digital out.

 
At 1:48 PM, Anonymous Bob Colby said...

Jim, this is pretty much where I was going with my next post. I'll probably be quoting you!

 
At 2:11 PM, Anonymous jim heartney said...

Thanks, Bob, I'll look for it.

 

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