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NAB to establish national DTV hotline

A toll-free national hotline to answer calls from viewers about the upcoming transition to digital television will be set-up by the NAB. The hotline, requested by President-elect Obama’s transition team, will address technical issues and also answer questions about the government converter box coupon program.

The NAB anticipates about 2 million calls from viewers during the five days following Feb. 17. About half of those are expected to come on Feb. 18.

The broadcast trade group has also proposed broadcasting a short DTV informational video that can replay on TV stations’ analog broadcasts nationwide throughout the days for 30 days after the transition. This analog extension was made possible by recent legislation passed by Congress.

NAB said it will produce and distribute this video, which will address common DTV-related questions. Those include converter box installation, rescanning, antenna positioning and general DTV transition questions.

The NAB’s action came after a recent meeting with President-elect Obama’s transition team, who suggested broadcasters foot the bill for the hotline.