12.31.2008 09:30 AM
Broadcasters Urged to Inform Viewers of Potential Reception Problems
At the FCC's year-end conference call meeting this week, FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein discussed his concerns about the status of the DTV transition, now less than 50 days away.
Adelstein called in from Phoenix, where he's been holding meetings with local broadcasters and government officials about February's transition. Although constructive, Adelstein said the meetings gave him cause for concern about local preparations for the full power analog switch off.
"I'm afraid the DTV transition isn't ready for prime time yet," he said. "I'm afraid it's going to be messy."
Adelstein said the recent coverage maps released by the commission were "very helpful," and urged broadcasters to inform their viewers about potential reception problems before the transition takes effect Feb. 18.
"I'm glad that we got our maps out," Adelstein said. "I hope they will be widely advertised the broadcasters themselves. It may be, in some cases, unpleasant news to inform their viewers that they will lose service with this, but they're going to find out and there's no point in hiding that ball given the fact that when they find out, they're going to wonder what happened. If they're not informed upfront, it's going to be a much more difficult situation come Feb. 18."