Readers Reaction: Will DTV Work When Weather Worsens?

September 9, 2008

We are aware about this hurricane season that is making conditions along the U.S coasts critical and hard to endure. Even as the DTV transition test i Wilmington, NC, was enforced, storms made it´s mark one again. It is one thing to make a switch to DTV from a broadcasters perspective. And a very much different from a consumers perspective. Many questions arise about TV and weather. Common questions is if there are any DTV reciever that works on battery or TV sets with built in DTV receiver and battery.

One reader of this blog sent in a story, about her families thughts and struggle to get DTV working in a region were the weather newscasts are central. Please feel free to comment or send advise / knowledge.Or if you have similar experiences.

“I have a concern about receiving uninterrupted critical TV
weather coverage here during severe storms and tornado
warnings once analog transmissions are discontinued.

My husband is trying out a digital converter, and we can
consistently receive only one station! We are able to receive
8-10 analog stations using the same antenna!

When dangerous weather approaches, following the path of
severe storms or the path of tornados is very reliable on
analog stations, but as soon as the weather surrounds us,

the digital station is effectively blacked-out! This is similar

to the way that satellite TV transmissions are blocked.

It is assumed that even if we are forced to buy a decibel
power-gain appliance and power-up our antenna reception,
we will still be without critical weather warning broadcasts
when they are needed the most as digital signals are
unreliable at best when blanketed by heavy weather…

Can you help me understand how rural America will be
notified of severe weather and kept safe (as possible) when
analog weather newscasts are no longer available?

I believe this is a very valid concern that should be

addressed immediately with everyone who is vulnerable to

such severe weather threats.

Thank you.

Sharon, MO, USA

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Wilmington Went DTV Only

September 8, 2008

Today Wilmington,NC, did the switch to DTV only. As the slogan said: “first in flight, first in digital”.

Tomorrow will actually be the more interesting day. That is when people realize that their TV sets have gone dark, the DTV box maybe don’t work. So, my prediction is that there will be lines forming outside retailers when people need help. But on Thursday, most of this will be sorted out.

Also, watch C-spans coverage of the event. There will be a huge media effect following this first “test switch”, hundreds of articles and news pieces have already been reporting on the event. And that is the best way to inform the general audience about the upcoming change. It is a “signal” to each and everyone that the transition to DTV is and will be taking place. Also, it is a test if the weather have effect on DTV. Since a storm hit Wilmington as the transition took place as Washington Post reported.

It is showtime in Wilmington, as Washington Post blogger Kim Hart, put it.

Anders Bjers