With just over two months to go before the government mandated analog shut-off and transition to digital television (February 17, 2009), television stations across the state are working together to ensure consumer preparedness through a series of market-wide digital readiness tests.
All full power stations in Los Angeles have partnered to run the tests – temporary interruptions of the over the air analog signals – to prepare viewers for the shut off.
On 12/2, the stations completed a successful two-minute test at 5:28 PM, arguably the largest test of its kind in the country. Over 4,000 calls were received from antenna TV viewers asking for help or information about the federal converter box coupon program, looking for electronics retailers, or needing further assistance. Callers were able to receive information in English, Spanish and Mandarin.
Having the experience and success of the December 2nd test to draw upon, the Los Angeles stations will run two additional tests today at 6:28 and 11:28 PM, staggering the times to reach every possible viewer. Again, these tests will last for two minutes to afford the viewer time and opportunity to check the signal of each TV set in the household.
Leading up to the tests, stations will again air promos encouraging antenna TV viewers to get ready for the transition by: a) purchasing a digital converter box; b) subscribing to cable, satellite or other pay TV service; c) purchasing a digital TV set. The goal of these tests is to encourage consumers to act now and not wait until the February deadline and risk possible interruption in their TV service.