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Eight Digital Broadcasting e-News

March 20, 2008
  Dear Friend of Eight,  

Thank you for reading the second edition of the Eight Digital Broadcasting newsletter.

This month we talk about Where You Live Matters and offer Consumer Tips for the digital conversion of February 2009.

Next year at this time, you will have made one of three choices for watching broadcast television:

  1. keep your older analog TV and purchase a digital-to-analog converter box to receive digital broadcasting with an antenna.
  2. keep your older analog TV and subscribe to a Pay TV service to receive digital broadcasts.
  3. purchase a new digital television with a digital tuner (a tuner is a device that receives broadcast signals).

Last month we wrote about the federal government's digital-to-analog converter box coupon program. A quick re-cap: households across America can apply for two $40 coupons to help with the purchase of specific converter box models at select retailers near you.

Many of us at Eight applied for coupons in early January. A colleague in Virginia recently received his coupons and here's what he received (view the PDF).

We hope the tips, news and highlights below help you enjoy watching Eight today and in the future.

Best wishes,

Brendan McEvoy
Brendan McEvoy

Eight's Consumer Tips for Digital TV or Converter Box Shopping

When you walk into an electronics store, you want to be prepared. Don't let the salesperson steer the conversation. Try to determine what you need before you shop. Remember, you are the customer. It's possible you may know more about the digital switch than the sales representative serving you. Don't be afraid to visit another store if the information you receive sounds too complicated or uninformed.

Tips to Consider

  • Be prepared before you shop
  • Ask about service and setup assistance
  • Get a set-up demonstration before you leave the store
  • Don't buy a new antenna until you test your old one
  • Don't feel pressured to buy something you may not need
Where You Live Matters

Digital Signal MapAll full-power TV stations in Phoenix broadcast digital signals today. Eight's digital signal reaches most of Maricopa and Pinal Counties (see map to the left). If you live in a different region of the state, your area is served by an Eight translator (a translator is also called a repeater transmitter). Many translators in these areas do not yet broadcast digital signals. Those translators may not switch to digital until after Feb. 17, 2009 (the date when all full-power stations must switch).

Regardless of which area you live in, we recommend you purchase a converter box with a feature called analog pass-through (and sometimes called RF pass-through). The analog pass-through feature allows your TV to receive both digital and analog signals from all local stations. You'll be prepared no matter how the digital switch evolves.

Eight's Antenna Tips

Antenna Test your current antenna with your converter box or new digital TV set before buying a new antenna. If your antenna delivers a good TV signal now, it will probably work well in the future. A simple low-tech antenna will often produce the best picture, often better than cable or satellite.

Learn more about antennas. This Web site asks you to enter your home address to get customized advice about the best placement and orientation for your antenna. While it also offers information on antenna types, we suggest you try your old antenna or any kind of wire, even a length of coaxial cable, before purchasing a new antenna.

Next month we'll talk about specific types of antennas.

DTV Road Show Coming to Arizona

The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) is bringing its DTV Road Show, a traveling consumer education campaign, to Casa Grande (March 26 - 30) and Phoenix (April 2 - 7). The DTV Road Show features kiosks that provide demonstrations on the differences between analog and digital signals, educational literature, and fun games consumers can play to win prizes. The centerpiece of the exhibit is a 20-foot TV known as "DTV Trekker." See digital technology firsthand, and get answers to your digital questions.

About Eight Digital Broadcasting

Today, over-the-air (OTA) households equipped to receive a digital television signal in Maricopa County and most of Pinal County, and households that subscribe to Cox digital cable can enjoy Eight's three digital channels: Eight HD (8.1), Eight Create (8.2) and Eight World (8.3).

See the full schedule for our digital channels.

  Eight HD
Programs featured below are broadcast with improved picture and sound quality and can be seen on digital channel 8.1 with an antenna, or on Cox 708 or Qwest Choice 308.
Eight HD schedule
Coqui Frog
Animals Behaving Worse
Sunday, March 23 at 8pm & 11pm
Learn how our natural neighbors, like the coqui frog (left), can be ingenious, brilliant and scrappy when sharing our cities and suburbs. When we move into their backyard and they move into ours, it's survival of the shrewdest.
Peter and the Wolf
Great Performances
Peter and the Wolf
Wednesday, March 26 at 8pm & 11pm
Watch this Academy Award-winning, animated interpretation of Sergei Prokofiev's fanciful musical tale Peter and the Wolf. The piece uses personified instruments in the orchestra to tell the story of young Peter and his animal friends the Duck, the Bird and the mischievous Cat.
  Eight Create
Saturday's lifestyle, cooking, travel and how-to marathons can be seen on digital channel 8.2 with an antenna or on Cox 80.
Eight Create schedule
Katie Brown
Makeover Takeover
Saturday, March 22
Create your own designer style in your home with Katie Brown (left), P. Allen Smith, Donna Dewberry, and the team of Vicky Payne and Sloan Payne-Rutter. They offer makeover ideas from a personal "oasis" or garden home to interior enhancements for all rooms.
Burt Wolf
North by Northwest
Saturday, March 29
Join Rudy Maxa, Burt Wolf (left) and the casts from Equitrekking and Passport to Adventure to explore the scenic grandeur and distinctive flavors of Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Oregon, Washington State, San Francisco, the Napa Valley and Monterey Bay.
  Eight World
PBS' award-winning public affairs programs and documentary series can be seen on digital channel 8.3 with an antenna or on Cox 88.
Eight World schedule
Ethics in America
Pubic Trusts, Private Interests airs Friday, March 21 at 6pm & 11pm
Does Doctor Know Best? airs Friday, March 28 at 6pm & 11pm
Test your thoughts and philosophy on issues involving loyalty, trust, confidentiality and other matters of ethics with panels of experts with different viewpoints.
Gathering of Heroes
Gathering of Heroes
Tuesday, March 25 at 6:30pm & 11:30pm
Follow WWII veterans from Indiana, mostly in their 80s and 90s, who travel to Washington, D.C. to visit the long-awaited WWII memorial which honors their sacrifice.

Our complete schedule is always available online.

Schedules for Eight HD (8.1), Eight Create (8.2) and Eight World (8.3) are always available online.

Any digital questions? Write to AskEight@asu.edu.

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