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For years, a TV Technology staff member has called television station newsrooms during primetime to relate signal problems, only to be met with the type of dead silence that a 10-car pile-up would not elicit. But finally the transmission side of the digital transition may be reaching station newsrooms.

WUSA-TV, the Washington, D.C. CBS affiliate, was transmitting garbled, growling audio on its digital channel on a recent Wednesday evening, while the video was perfectly clear. Since we're not inclined to take our Rolodexes home, the newsroom number was all that could be obtained online. The editor that took the call not only recognized the publication, but knew immediately who to contact in the engineering department.

The audio problem, apparently a product of feedback, was fixed within two minutes of the call.