In Orange County and Los Angeles, only one channel, KHIZ’s Channel 64, made the switch to digital yesterday, the original deadline for the transition from analog.
But even though the government postponed the move until June 12, some 421 channels were allowed to switch anyway. (Read “Today is NOT digital TV transition day.“)
According to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, 28,315 people called its consumer help line on Tuesday wondering what happened. That’s nearly 20 people per minute. I’m assuming none were from O.C.
Call volume had been increasing in recent days. Last Friday, there were 11,819. On Monday, there were 20,673 calls. However, since the 421 channels stopped broadcasting in analog at midnight, the FCC expects more calls today. As of 8 a.m. this morning, the FCC call center received 6,750 calls.
The biggest complaint: People who didn’t realize they needed to rescan their converter boxes to find newly digital channels.
Also, National Association of Broadcasters surveyed its members and found that they experienced low call volume in the 12 hours after the stations went digital. On average, stations received 50 to 200 calls.
“These findings from local stations, coupled with the FCC data, paint the picture that by and large TV households affected in those markets were ready,” Jonathan Collegio, NAB vice president for the digital television transition, said in a statement. “Given the large number of broadcast-only households affected during yesterday’s transition, a relatively small percentage of viewers so far have needed assistance.”
Here in Orange County, only three full-power stations have switched to all digital, according to the FCC: KJLA’s Channel 33, KHIZ’s Channel 64 and KVMD (which actually has been all digital for several years). The rest have agreed to hold off until the new June 12 deadline.
The NAB offered results from the San Diego market, where three channels went digital:
- KFMB-TV received 3 calls and 25 emails, most of which were antenna-related questions.
- KSWB-TV has only received about 20 calls so far.
- KGTV-TV, which turned off its analog signal just before midnight on Tuesday, has received about 10-20 calls per hour since switching to digital. Over 60 percent of calls are from viewers who needed to rescan. Since the station has moved to a new channel on the VHF band, some people didn’t have the right antenna.
More digital TV transition news: Check out the Gadgetress Guide to the Digital TV transition. Latest headlines: