The digital TV transition is finally here. While television stations work diligently to make the last adjustments before throwing the switch to turn off their analog television signals, citizens across the state are prepared for the transition; nearly all have connected their converter boxes, adjusted their antennas or switched to a paid service. Some viewers purchased a new digital television with a built in tuner and now report to be ready with remote in hand to rescan for all of their favorite channels.
An Michigan Association of Broadcasters survey showed that nearly 100% of those viewers contacted are aware of the digital transition and the latest Nielson survey indicates that only a little over 2% of households in the Detroit market are totally unprepared. Detroit was the only Michigan market surveyed by Nielson. Metro Detroit is the largest over-the-air viewing market in Michigan, so the Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) is confident that most people throughout the rest of the state are ready for the revolutionary change in the way viewers receive their TV signals.
"Michigan Broadcasters did a wonderful job informing Michigan citizens about the digital transition," said Karole White, President and CEO of the MAB. "There has been a tremendous amount of planning and implementation put forth by everyone involved, and a successful transition will be the pay-off."
Michigan television stations lead the nation in educating the public. Detroit stations set an example for other states with the implementation of the first "Test Your TV Tuesdays" and other markets followed holding simultaneous DTV soft tests to let viewers know if their TV's were ready for the digital transition.
The MAB and member television stations have spent the past year holding DTV workshops, speaking to community groups and at public gatherings serving as a resource for all information pertaining to the TV transition. The MAB established a Michigan specific DTV website www.michigandtv.com and with the help of our DTV partners, Don-Lors Electronics, we established the premier DTV information source, the Michigan DTV Helpline, 888-MI-DTV-09. Don-Lors Electronics used their 40 phone lines and their own company operators and technicians to answer local questions, as well as providing walk-in help and in-home assistance to needy seniors.
The Detroit Public Libraries utilized all 24 of its branches to help Detroit citizens with hands-on demonstrations, walk-in assistance and information resources on how to connect and operate a digital converter box and how to find the best antenna for specific locations.
"The DTV transition is the largest simultaneous change in technology in our history," said White. "We ask everyone for their patience during this change. It has been a long and at times very challenging journey to reach this point, we are confident that the transition will go as planned and encourage those seeking help or information to call the Michigan DTV Helpline at 1-888-643-8809."
For information or assistance call the Michigan DTV Helpline at 1-888-643-8809. The Michigan DTV Helpline will be open 24 hours through Sunday, June 14, 2009.