Friday, 16 January 2009

TV analog to digital conversion

What a confusing few months. The USA is switching from analogue to digital TV on Feb 17 2009 and Hawai'i is the experiment, we've just switched - the date was 15-Jan. I'm one of the few people in the state that receives my TV signals over the air (i.e., via an antenna) and have always been quite happy with that.

I was working on Mauna Kea when the switch was made and was a little worried. No matter where I looked there was no information about what digital station would be broadcasting to my area. There was plenty of stuff about buying a converter and you'd be OK after that, but no actual useful information to those of us that understood the physics but couldn't find out where the new transmitters would be.

Worryingly, just about every website I could find, Hawaii or national, said that the TV stations have been broadcasting digital signals for months, so you'd know if the change affected you.

Well, for the last few months the only digital stations I could find were 11-1 and 14-1. The former is FOX, the latter LeSEA. I'm more than happy not to get LeSEA as it's frighteningly religious. The only good thing that channel broadcasts is Hawaii Five-0 and I loved that as a kid and still love now. Even just the other day I watched an episode that I hadn't seen before, but I knew Steve McGarrett would get the villain in the end.

What have I got now?

Well, actually it's not too bad. I receive all the major networks apart from NBC. That channel appears to be blank although my TV knows, somehow, that's it's NBC. What I don't understand is the bit that says: NBC.4LA. I'll figure that bit out later, I'm sure.

PBS isn't available yet, the equipment hasn't arrived yet. That's OK, this is Hawai'i, that's how this place works - a wonderful cross between the developing world and the developed. I love Nova but have not been able to receive PBS since the 2006 earthquake here, so I can wait a little longer.

KGMB is available which is good news to me, because I actually like their news, local and CBS national stuff. If Palin runs for president in 2012 then I'll be able to watch another Couric-Palin interview, and to be honest I'd pay for that. Anyway, that's channel 9-1 which I couldn't find before the transition, so assume it's just become live. Thanks for leaving me on tenterhooks!

The channel that broadcasts ABC has me completely baffled right now. I think that's KITV. Their weather channel broadcasts shows such as Judge Judy whilst their main channel appears to be continuous weather updates. I think someone needs to check the configuration file.

On the whole I still have the channels I used to get and the picture is an awful lot better, but I hope to be able to watch NBC in a few weeks as that's who's broadcasting the superbowl. Oh well, it may not matter, I may well have to be at work that day. Ho hum.

And 14-1 is no longer available, so no more McGarrett. That's a disappointment. I'll have to rescan tomorrow right in the middle of a religious show.

1 comment:

Zuzana said...

Dear Tom, good luck with finding the channels! I can see this has upset you somewhat and you know; I so understand this. I would hate if I would all of a sudden loose one of my favorite channels.
Here in Denmark we are loosing the analog signal as well, comes February. I hate it, as the TV in my basement is still functioning through an antenna. No more TV while I run on the treadmill.;)