NAB Recommends Measures, Offers Help in Wilmington Experiment

NAB, interested in learning from the DTV test run set for September in Wilmington, N.C., has given FCC some suggestions, some warnings, and an offer on what to learn from the experience.

NAB found the vast majority of people in the Wilmington area are aware of the DTV transition, but fewer than one in five are aware of the market’s first-in-the-nation transition date of Sept. 8, 2008. That survey was conducted May 12-15, when news of the Wilmington test was still fresh.

NAB recommended five specific ways to help monitor and measure the success of the experiment, and is volunteering to take the lead on three of the five.

NAB’s proposals:

  • Awareness Survey: NAB will conduct an awareness survey on Sept. 8, the day of the start of the Wilmington test, to determine the number of viewers who are aware of the digital switch and whether they have taken action.
  • Intercept Surveys: NAB will conduct intercept surveys (similar to voter exit polls) on the afternoon and evening of Sept. 8 about resident’s upgrade actions, technical difficulties, and perceptions.
  • Broadcaster Surveys: NAB will poll stations on any problems, solutions, viewer calls and complaints.
  • FCC Call Center Data Collection: As stations will not be “switching off” but instead running an information slate on the analog signal, they can direct viewers who failed to upgrade to the FCC Call Center. Based on information gleaned from the calls, NAB is urging the FCC to categorize and tabulate reasons why viewers did not upgrade and to share that information with broadcasters, cable and satellite partners.
  • Cable and Satellite Subscriber Reports: NAB says cable and satellite companies should share information about their subscribers’ experiences related to the Wilmington experiment.