Horizon, Host: Ted Simons

April 29, 2009


Host: Ted Simons

Eight's Analog TV Shutoff


  • Find out what Eight’s April 29th shutoff of its analog television signal means to you.
Guests:
  • Gil Aykroyd - Chief Engineer, Eight/KAET
  • Art Brooks - President and CEO, Arizona Broadcasters Association


View Transcript
Ted Simons
>>> At midnight tonight, Channel Eight will turn off its analog signal. Here's what that means for you tomorrow.

David Majure
>> Are you ready for digital television? Well, ready or not, here it comes. June 12th is the deadline for most stations to turn off the analog signals leaving only their digital broadcasts. Here at eight we're shutting down analog transmission at midnight, Wednesday, April 29th.

Eight
>> Pioneers, yes.

David Majure
>> And like all pioneers, we're heading into unchartered territory.

Eight
>> Eight will be shutting off our analog channel.

David Majure
>> Eight has been airing spots like these to help viewers in the Phoenix area prepare for digital T.V. Viewers of cable or satellite television shouldn't be affected at all.

Gil Aykroyd
>> It is people watching over an antenna, if they haven't done the preparation we have been telling people for a long time what they need to do, if they haven't prepared, I can simulate what they will see. They will see something like that.

David Majure
>> Your analog television may look like this until you connect it to your antenna through a converter box. Even if you have a converter box or brand new digital television there is more you need to know --

Gil Aykroyd
>> When we change frequencies on Thursday morning, some sets, most sets will probably lose the ability to receive us. They will lose their memory, and at that point, viewers will have to rescan their sets, do a channel scan, auto search, whatever it is called on your set.

Eight
>> It is important to rescan your digital T.V. or converter box to ensure you get all channels available to you.

Gil Aykroyd
>> You should be familiar how to do that so come Thursday morning you don't have to be without channel eight.

David Majure
>> Channel eight viewers living outside of Maricopa and Pinal counties will continue to receive analog like always. Prescott, Williams, Show Low, viewers will lose channel eight but only temporarily.

Gil Aykroyd
>> People on the outskirts that watch us on translators, they will be off the air for a day or two, we hope no more than that, some of the areas, but we have to go up there and change out some equipment at those translators, but within a day or two, we should be back on the air on those analog translators, and those people won't have to do anything either. They will continue watching the translators over the antenna just as they are now.

David Majure
>> Make sure that you are prepared for digital T.V. by visiting our web site at azpbs.org/digital.

Ted Simons
>> Here to tell us if Arizona is ready for digital television is Art Brooks. Are we ready

Art Brooks
>> Yeah, we're ready. We were ready February 17th.

Ted Simons
>> Why didn't it happen then?
Art Brooks
>> The governing agency who oversees the coupon program ran out of funding. They received a major gift from the stimulus package of $650 million to boot it back up again.

Ted Simons
>> Let's reiterate again, make it as clear as we can. You receive over the air signal, you need a converter box. If you have rabbit ears or antenna on the roof, that's all you have got, you need a converter box.

Art Brooks
>> Or a new T.V. set. The converter box is what you need.

Ted Simons
>> How much do the boxes cost?

Art Brooks
>> $40 to $80.

Ted Simons
>> Where do you get them?

Art Brooks
>> Any retail store, any place you can buy electronics.

Ted Simons
>> How much of a migraine is it to hook these up?

Art Brooks
>> This is simple. On the back of the box, antenna in, whatever you are using rabbit ears, roof top, goes into that little slot, and then it says out to T.V. So it is really that simple.

Ted Simons
>> So simple a cave man can do it.

Art Brooks
>> I don't know if you and I could.

Ted Simons
>> Yeah. So, again, if you had a new television, really new -- the new television that are digitally --

Art Brooks
>> In my office I have a 42 inch Samsung high-def T.V., up to an antenna, beautiful high-def pictures.

Ted Simons
>> You're fine.

Ted Simons
>> Cable?

Art Brooks
>> Fine.

Ted Simons
>> Satellite?

Art Brooks
>> Done.

Ted Simons
>> Are you fine or do you need to rescan? Those of us with cable, do we rescan?

Art Brooks
>> After June 12th, and tonight at midnight I suggest rescanning that you are receiving eight on eight. What happens a lot of the digital channel stations are not there over the air channel.

Ted Simons
>> What does rescanning mean?

Art Brooks
>> It means that your T.V. will automatically seek out and find those channels correctly.

Ted Simons
>> So, again, why is this being done?

Art Brooks
>> Well, it started in '96, but you don't want to go back that far.

Ted Simons
>> No, not that far.

Art Brooks
>> To remain relevant technically, T.V. had to do this. They had to go digital from analog, because it is such a better picture than ever, and they can do more with it. You get more channels, more bang for the buck.

Ted Simons
>> We're making this switch at midnight.

Art Brooks
>> Yeah, right.

Ted Simons
>> Other stations not necessarily so.

Art Brooks
>> No, everybody else will be June 12th.

Ted Simons
>> Okay. Last question. Which question have you heard the most?

Art Brooks
>>Do I need a new antenna? And the answer is hook up your present antenna first, and then if you have antenna problems go to dtvanswers.com, put in your area code or zip code, and it will tell you what antenna is best for you.

Ted Simons
>> All right. I hope we made it simple. I mean it has been going on and people have so many questions. Thank you for coming on.

Art Brooks
>> Channel eight, they have three additional channels.

Ted Simons
>> We do. More of eight to go around. Good to see you.

Art Brooks
>> Good to see you.

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