Big Switch goes smoothly, help still available - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Big Switch goes smoothly, help still available

By Molly Reuter - bio | email

EAST TEXAS (KLTV) - We've been getting ready for months now, and today it finally happened.   At 9:00 a.m., KLTV 7's chief engineer powered down our old analog signal.  Our transmitter located just outside Hawkins is now completely digital after more than half a century.  It's the end of one broadcasting era and the beginning of another.

"It's a newer age," said KLTV 7 Chief Engineer Butch Adair.  "TV is continuously evolving.  KLTV has operated in analog since October 14th, 1954.  Now, we're 100% digital."  

We've set up phone banks in Longview and Tyler to make sure your conversion goes just as smoothly.  You can call the Tyler and Longview phone banks until 8:00 p.m., Friday.  The phone lines will be back open until 2:00 p.m., Saturday.  

Tyler: 903-510-7818

Longview: 903-757-3176

The FCC has also set up a 24-hour hotline.  You can reach them at 888-CALL-FCC.

Over at Don's TV and Appliance, Friday phone's are ringing off the hook.  They say there's still a lot of confusion out there on the digital switch, though not as much as a few months ago.

"We haven't seen a big rush on TV's, but we've got a big rush on phone calls, on people just concerned about, is this really the day it's going to happen, is it going to be postponed again," said Don's TV & Appliance co-owner Brian Thedford.  "It is happening today, and a lot of people are finding out by the ones that haven't converted their televisions, or bought a new digital TV, they've got a blank screen now."

If you still need a converter box, Don's TV says they sold out, but we called around and found that Walmart and Best Buy do still have them.  

©2009 KLTV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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