Getting Nothing But Static?

The day of the digital switch is finally here

The dawn of digital television is getting a big reception today. But the big question is whether some TV owners will be getting any reception at all.

Television stations across the U.S. will be shutting off their analog signals and begin broadcasting exclusively in digital, if they haven't done so already.More than 1 million unprepared homes will end up without any TV service.

That's because their older model TV sets get their signals off the air with antennas but don't have a digital converter box to translate the new signals. Cable and satellite subscribers won't be affected.

NBC Bay Area will make the switch at noon. Viewers who procrastinated too long and find static on their set when they turn on the TV can call the 866-9NBCDTV for answers or check our digital TV answers page or

The changeover was supposed to take place last February. But the government's fund for $40 converter box coupons ran out of money, prompting the delay.

The Federal Communications Commission has put 4,000 operators on standby for calls from confused viewers, and set up demonstration centers in several cities.

For more information about converter boxes or about a government program that helps reduce the cost of converter boxes, call 1-888-DTV-2009, or visit

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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