DTV: Less than 30 Days and Counting

And the FCC wants to be sure you know:

With the nation’s switch to digital TV broadcasting now less than 30 days away, the Federal Communications Commission is leaving nothing to chance in its efforts to reach households that haven’t prepared for the end of analog television transmission.

If you live in a Suddenlink-served area, check here for commonly asked questions … and answers.

Bad Economy? I Still Want My Fancy TV

Or so it would seem, per a report by Lance Whitney at CNET News:

Following a decline last year, North American sales of flat-panel TVs surged during the first quarter of 2009, according to a report released Monday from market research company DisplaySearch. With demand often outpacing supply on some models, 7.2 million flat-panel TVs flew off the shelves, an increase of 23 percent from the first quarter of 2008.

Read Whitney’s entire report here.

Where’s My TV Guide Data Stream?

 

 

Some newer TV sets have a built-in channel guide function. When that function is paired with a “TV Guide data stream” — and activated according to the instructions from the TV set’s manufacturer — viewers gain access to an on-screen list of channels, programs, and scheduled program times.

In the past, from one city to the next, the TV Guide data stream was consistently transmitted to viewers by a local PBS station. That may no longer be the case. In some areas today, the TV Guide data stream may not be available at all, from any local station. In other cases, it might be delivered as part of the signal transmitted by a CBS, FOX, or other TV station.

If you’re having trouble activating a channel guide function that’s built in to your TV set, let us know. We’ll follow up to determine if a station in your area is transmitting the TV Guide data stream and to confirm whether or not we’re receiving that data stream from the station. If we’re not receiving it, we’ll consult with the station’s engineeers to make sure we do, so we can pass it along to you.

Alternatively, you might want to consider Suddenlink’s Digital TV service,* which can be enabled either through a digital set-top box or CableCARD leased from us. Our Digital TV service provides a channel guide plus access to other popular features like pay-per-view and (in an expanding list of cities) video-on-demand programming.

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* Check the local availability of Suddenlink Digital TV and related services by entering your zip code at our main Web site.

DTV: More ‘Soft Tests’ Likely

Via “Michael’s Insight” …

As we get closer to the federally mandated deadline of June 12th for the digital television transition, the FCC is requesting that television stations perform a DTV “soft test” on May 21st. While around 41 percent of broadcast stations have already flipped the switch to digital, the FCC is proposing that remaining analog stations give viewers who still aren’t prepared for the digital transition an additional reminder. These soft tests would occur during the evening news period, and simulate what happens when the station pulls the plug on analog. If a viewer is ready for DTV, then the broadcast is uninterrupted. If they’re not yet prepared, they receive additional instructions about how to prepare.

Check here, if you live in a Suddenlink-served area and have transition-related questions.