Local News

DTV calls lessen but problems still persist

Posted June 19, 2009 5:55 p.m. EDT
Updated June 19, 2009 6:08 p.m. EDT

— Last Friday, broadcasters across the nation turned off their analog television signals and switched to digital.

The Federal Communications Commission said Friday that it has received more than 760,000 calls to its hot line since June 12 about the DTV switch.

It has engineers working on the problems in television markets throughout the United States, including the Raleigh-Durham area.

The major problem, the FCC says, appears to be reception issues and have centered on ABC owned-and-operated stations choosing to continue using a VHF channel. The source of the problems appears to be the use of interior antennae and "rabbit ears."

"From WRAL-TV's standpoint, we think things went very smoothly, in a large part, due to the significant amount of education we did for the community many months leading up to June 12," WRAL-TV's general manager, Steve Hammel, said Friday.

As of Friday afternoon, the station has received fewer than 300 phone calls and fewer than 200 e-mails about the switch.

Nationally, the number of daily calls is down. The FCC said it received 317,000 calls on June 12. On Thursday, it received 38,000.

Problems can still be reported to the federal hotline. The number is 1-888-CALL-FCC.