LocalSYR

Questions on DTV transition: The Real Deal

The switch to digital television is now just two months away. We've been telling you how to get prepared, but you still have a lot of questions. Here are some of the most frequent ones.

Syracuse, New York (WSYR-TV) - The switch to digital television is now just two months away.  If you've got cable or dish, you're all set. If not, you’ll likely need a converter box to avoid going to static on February 17.

We've been telling you how to get prepared but you still have a lot of questions. Here are some of the most frequent ones:

Coupons for converter boxes

We're going to start with a few questions we've been getting about the coupons for the converter boxes.  Some of you ordered them weeks ago and are still waiting. 

When you call the toll-free number to check on their status, you can't get through.  That's because the number of call takers has been dramatically reduced, so your chances of getting through are slim.

Your best bet is to track your coupons online by going to: http://www.dtv2009.gov.

If they don't arrive within a month, or if yours expired, ask a friend or family member who does not need the converter boxes to order the coupons and give you theirs.

Getting the right DTV antenna

Now, once you get the box and get it hooked up, some of you have noticed you don't get some of the stations you used to.  What's The Real Deal?

Well, with digital, you either get the signal or you don't -- it's not like analog television, where you sometimes can get a fuzzy picture.
 
A lot of it depends on where you live; low-lying and heavily-wooded areas have a tougher time getting a digital signal, which means you'll likely need to get a better antenna. 

First, make sure the rabbit ears you have on your TV are UHF compatible.  If that doesn't do the trick, you'll have to crawl up on the roof and install or shift an outdoor antenna. 

If you need some suggestions on just what type of antenna to use, the website http://www.antennaweb.org can help. 

The sooner you get all of this taken care of, the better. You're not going to notice a huge difference with digital, but the picture will be a bit sharper. 

Is NewsChannel 9 broadcasting in digital?

Yes. Newschannel 9 is already broadcasting a full-power digital signal, as are most of the local stations. Most have been doing so for a few years now.

February 17 is simply the last day for analog broadcasting.

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