Friday, February 20, 2009

How to make the switch to digital TV

No matter how many public-service announcements TV stations run, no matter how many crawls during the evening news, no matter how many informational segments on said newscasts, no matter how often everyone in television broadcasting stands on a soapbox to cry "Buy a converter box or get cable, for the end of TV as you know it is nigh!" . . . no matter how much (or how loudly) TV people do all of the above, there's no overcoming the cold, hard facts of life.

People are stupid. Or self-absorbed. Or stupid and self-absorbed.

YOU CAN'T BEAT that triumvirate of dumbth. And, thus far, for every local TV station turning off its analog signal to go all-digital, there has been a small army of viewers blindsided by the Big Switch and wondering where Jerry Springer and their stories went.

TV stations just can't win against genetic -- or willful -- ignorance. Or can they?

In Alexandria, La., KALB television shut down its Channel 5 analog signal at 11:55 p.m. Monday. The station, according to the above report on Channel 9 out of Baton Rouge, got few complaints.

How did it manage such a thing?

It was easy. Station management apparently "forced" viewers to get with the program. For a while, KALB had been shutting off the analog signal during the weather.


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