IEEE Adds to DTV Awareness Push

The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) has embarked on a program to make the switch to DTV as painless as possible to the viewing public.

Part of the group’s initiative involves the creation of a Q&A document circulated to media outlets and posted on several Web sites.

“This is an important and exciting change that the public can embrace once they are able to understand the fundamental issues,” said William Hayes, president of the IEEE Broadcast Technology Society and director of Engineering and Technology for Iowa Public Television.

However, fallout from the early transition experiment conducted at Wilmington, N.C., earlier this year and other information indicates that many viewers will be unprepared for the Feb. 17 shift.

“There are an alarming number of people out there that do not understand this change and will not be prepared to deal with it,” said Gary Sgrignoli, IEEE member and DTV transmission consultant for Meintel, Sgrignoli, & Wallace. “This is especially unfortunate for those people in rural areas that depend on analog television for news, and are unaware of what simple steps they can take to prepare for the change.”

The IEEE is the world’s largest technical professional organization and has committed to assist ongoing efforts to ensure that the majority of television viewers will not lose service due to lack of information or proper receiving equipment. The organization is also working to inform viewers of the benefits that come with DTV.

The IEEE informational document can be viewed here.