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Published: Thursday, 6/11/2009

Ready for DTV?

BELIEVE it or not, some people will be surprised when they turn on their analog TVs tomorrow and find a blank screen instead of their favorite show.

According to industry estimates, some 2.1 million households nationally aren t ready for the switch to digital broadcasting. Between 4 percent and 8 percent of households in the Toledo market are among that number.

Some will do Homer Simpson impersonations: exclaim Doh! and slap their foreheads because they never bought a digital TV, put off getting a converter box, procrastinated about switching to cable or satellite, or forgot when the changeover to DTV was occurring. Others, remarkably, simply won t believe that if they do nothing, nothing is what they will see on their television screens.

There also will be the people who bought a converter box but haven t figured out how to install it. And there will be some who don t have a cable or satellite provider but do have converter boxes or digital TVs. They will have to rescan for channels because the signals for WTOL-TV, Channel 11, and WTVG-TV, Channel 13, will move from 17 and 19, respectively, to 11 and 13.

Fortunately for all of us, WTOL and WTVG, as well as WNWO-TV, Channel 24, and WUPW-TV, Channel 36, will have people manning phones all day tomorrow to help technologically challenged viewers.

Some of those calls will be from people who expected to receive digital-quality sound and picture on their analog TVs after the switch. That won t happen. Only a digital TV can display digital signals in their true glory.

The change to DTV was scheduled originally for Feb. 17. It was put off four months to give people more time to switch. For some people, no amount of time would be enough.

But ready or not, DTV is here to stay.

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