DTV preparations continue


As DTV day approaches with locomotive speed, Zenith is giving away converter boxes, TeleTech is getting ready to answer the phone and the FCC is thinking about hurricanes. The 6/12/09 deadling is now just days away.

Zenith, a subsidiary of LG Electronics, has been sending free digital-to-analog converter boxes to organizations operating on the ground in four of the most digitally-challenged DMAs. Receiving and distributing some 200 freebies have been the Area Agency on Aging in Houston, the Dallas Concilio of Hispanic Service Organizations, the Barelas Senior Center in Albuquerque and Reclaim the Media, a community outreach and media watchdog organization in the Seattle. Zenith earlier sent donated converter boxes to organizations in a number of additional states. “Throughout this transition, we are proud to have strongly supported the federal government and its outreach to hundreds of community organizations by providing Zenith converter boxes for demonstration purposes,” said Zenith Senior Vice President Richard Lewis.” Those demonstration units have now been repurposed and sent to viewers who are most in need of help.”

TeleTech has experience helping the government man the phones in times of duress, as it helped FEMA during the Hurrican Katrina aftermath. This time, it will be deploying some 4K temps trained to provide basic assistance to consumers in the aftermath of the DTV transition.

The FCC, meanwhile, turned its attention to the special needs of consumers during hurricanes and other disasters natural or manmade which could potentially cut off power or on a more limited basis, cable/satellite program delivery. FCC reminded consumers who rely on a battery powered analog television during such times that these sets will require a converter box, and the converter box itself needs to have access to a reliable power supply in the event normal power sources are knocked out.