Six Million Sets May Experience Difficulties With DTV Transition

I have the first generation of digital OTA receiver and earlier PC-based HDTV card for HD programs before I went with cable, the reception wasn't pretty but it's improving with newest and better OTA receiver. Unlike digital, analog signals are more tolerated toward weak reception; it degrades and introduces static noise but in watchable form. As for digital, dropout occurs when the bit-error-ratio exceeds the limitation, you get a complete blank out or froze image instead. With DTV switch coming soon, the FCC is well prepared with rebate program and cheap hardware, but are we ready for prime time?

A recent private study conducted by a leading market research firm, Centris, estimated nearly 6 out of 40 millions OTA analogue users in US may be left without reception even with a proper DTV converter. Few may not receive a complete line-up and others may not get anything at all.

The study says FCC underestimates the strength of digital TV signals and old fashion disruption from the weather, hills and buildings nearby, it's a big different between drop-off and static image (for the record, I tolerate neither)

If you live closer to the TV station in a clean patch, you shouldn't have issues getting the digital OTA. Otherwise, get a better outdoor antenna or amplified indoor antenna, mine has been working wonder. The irony is one may have to spend more on antenna as oppose to the converter that gets brought up for every single DTV transition news. You can get an al-cheapo converter box for under $10 at Wal-mart after Uncle Sam $40 rebate.

[via prnewssire ]