FCC illuminates help center concept


As part of the consumer DTV education program, television stations are required to operate consumer walk-in help centers. Now, with less than two months to go until analog shut-off day, the FCC has explained just exactly what a DTV walk-in help center is.

The center must have on hand “…at least one analog television, one digital-to-analog converter box, one VCR or other recording device (to demonstrate how to hook-up such devices in conjunction with a digital-to-analog converter box), and one antenna able to receive local broadcast stations at the site.” It must also have displays with pertinent education literature.

For now, they must be staffed and open for business, at a minimum, on Friday from 4PM-8PM, and on weekends from 12N-8PM. Once we’re 14 days out from 6/12/, the centers must be open every day from 12N-8PM – and that schedule must be maintained until seven days after the transition.

The centers must have a DVD player and viewing devise to show educational video material, and at least one staffer must be on hand who can teach consumers how to install converter boxes and antennae.

PSAs and other educational material must publicize the walk-in centers. And while special clinics and other one-time educational events are encouraged, these events should be carefully differentiated from walk-in centers.