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The DTV Transition

June 12, 2009 1:28:02 PM PDT
I felt a bit like Ryan Seacrest or Dick Clark today, as we counted down the transition, on air, from analog to digital. Gone forever is the way TV has transmitted its signal since it was invented. Adios to analog. The digital era is complete. The Tri-State area has the fewest number of folks who weren't ready for this -- of any big city. The vertical city has long meant that simple over-the-air TV signals are hard to grab; cable started early in the greater New York metro area because people needed better signals than over-the-air.

For low-lying cities - like Houston - a greater percentage of people have kept their old analog sets. And so today, when the analog signal was shut down, there were several thousand households not ready for it - but a better percentage than other big cities, and a huge improvement over the 300,000 households that weren't ready for it last fall. We at Ch. 7 have been on a mission to leave no viewer behind in this transition. We've held community forums, produced half-hour specials and run stories about this digital conversion - before the original transition date in February, and leading up to the delayed transition today.

If you don't have a digital television, or don't have cable or satellite or Fios, you'll need a converter box to watch TV. And if you had already bought a converter box, then you'll need to rescan or reboot it to see Ch. 7.

So - should old analogs be forgot and never brought to mind. Welcome to the digital age.

We'll have the latest on the transition, tonight at 11.

Also at 11, the first subway series of the year - Yankees vs. Mets. Scott Clark will have the highlights of Game One.

And Tappy Phillips tonight has the story of a homeowner in Queens -- the first in her family ever to have a mortgage. But her pride has now turned to pain, because the water company is threatening to put a lien on her home if she doesn't pay off a $1,600 water bill. The problem? She says the bill should have been paid by the home's builder. She turned to Tappy, and got 7 On Your Side.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast. I hope you can join Liz Cho and me, tonight at 11, right after 20/20.

BILL RITTER


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