DTV - no big deal?
In the end, Friday’s digital television transition went a lot like Y2K: Months of dire warnings and panicky preparations meant that nearly everyone seems to have made the switch without a hitch.
Between 7 and 9 a.m. on Friday, all the major local TV stations shut down their analog transmitters for good and viewers could only receive the signals with a digital TV, a converter box, cable or satellite. The transition was supposed to take place in February, but was pushed back to June to give viewers more time to prepare. It seems to have worked. At KXRM/Channel 21, the station had one call Friday morning, general manager Steve Dant said. The only glitch at the Fox affiliate was that it took five extra minutes to actually shut off the old transmitter.
“The gremlins were loose,” Dant said.
At KOAA/Channels 5&30, about 100 people had called by Friday afternoon. At the DTV walk-in assistance center at 129 N. Wahsatch Ave., Gary Marshall said Thursday was busy, with about 34 people looking for assistance, but only eight had come in on Friday.
If you do have an old TV, it’s not quite a museum piece just yet. You can, of course, hook it up to cable or satellite service, or to a digital converter box. And, for a little while at least, there are a few things to watch in good old analog television: KOAA/Channels 5&30’s transmitter on channel 30 is still up and running, along with local CW affiliate KXTU/Channel 57 (which can also be seen on KXRM’s digital subchannel, 21.2), along with a few other low-power stations.
Those stations will gradually switch over, too, and then analog television will truly go the way of 8-track tapes and Betamax VCR’s.