Eight, Arizona PBS

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Eight Digital Broadcasting e-News

April 22, 2008
  Dear Friend of Eight,  

This month we want to follow up on the government's coupon program and talk about antennas.

By February 17, 2009, you will decide how you plan to receive local broadcasting. Your choice will be determined by:

  1. where you live in Arizona
  2. whether or not you want to buy a new digital TV (you don't have to buy a new TV) and
  3. whether you want to use an antenna or subscribe to a Pay TV service

Check out Eight's Web tool to discover your digital solution.

Best wishes,

John Menzies
Guest editor

Digital-to-Analog Converter Box Update

If you plan to keep your old TV and use an antenna, the government still offers $40 coupons to help with the purchase of specific models of converter boxes. We recommend you buy a model with RF pass-through (also called analog pass-through) to continue receiving Eight as well as our digital channels.

If you've already applied for coupons, you can check the status of your request online.


Q: I am having trouble receiving a digital channel that I used to receive. Can you help me?

A: If you have trouble receiving a digital channel on your new digital TV or converter box, try performing a "channel scan." This usually fixes reception problems (and is similar to re-booting a computer). If a scan doesn't solve your problem, check your Owner's Manual to manually enter the channel (remember: Eight Digital Broadcasting is also found on Channel 29 on some digital products).

If you have DTV questions, check Eight's Frequently Asked Questions or Ask Eight at AskEight@asu.edu.

New Converter Box and Indoor Antenna Testing

I had a smooth transaction ordering a converter box from an online retailer. With the government coupon, I paid $19.95 to get a box with RF pass-through (always use a credit card when shopping online so your card's company can act on your behalf if you encounter any problems).

BalunI did not buy a new antenna because I had a set of VHF rabbit ears and an old UHF loop in the closet. Older antennas have twin lead wires and need a coaxial input adaptor for your converter box (also called a balun or a matching transformer; see photo to left). I tested each one and both antennas received beautiful pictures for every digital channel in Phoenix.

Next I tested a 32-inch length of coaxial cable as an antenna. I let it hang from the back of the converter box and it, too, received every local digital channel with clarity in picture and sound.

My last test used an eight-inch length of wire, which I inserted into the hole of the Antenna Input on my converter box. The reception was good, but if I moved around the room, the picture on my old TV would sometimes pixilate (those little squares of color that can appear in digital transmissions).

Some people like the look of the new digital antennas, and some homes are located in areas where an older antenna may not work properly, but you may discover that you already have an antenna that works (so test it before you buy a new one).

Find out more about antennas at AntennaWeb.

Learn what channels are available in your zip code at Titan TV.

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 can enjoy Eight's three digital channels: Eight HD (8.1), Eight Create (8.2) and Eight World (8.3). For some cable households, Eight HD is available on Cox 708 and Qwest Choice 308; Eight Create is on Cox 80; and Eight World is on Cox 88. Check with your cable service provider for more information.

Check out the full schedule for Eight's 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
Sunday through Thursday at 9pm & 10pm beginning April 27
Immerse yourself in the high-stakes world of a nuclear aircraft carrier. This documentary takes a raw and personal look at the U.S. Navy's role in this controversial war with a revealing story of daily life for a core group of servicemen—from the elite fighter pilots to the youngest sailors—during a six-month deployment of the USS Nimitz.
Presented locally by:
Wealth Trust Arizona - Southwest Gas Corporation
Strange Days on Planet Earth
National Geographic's
Strange Days on Planet Earth
Wednesday, April 23 at 9pm
Join the team of scientists and investigators seeking answers to mysteries bubbling up from the depths of the world's water supply. Why are majestic seabirds starving on remote Pacific Islands? What is causing the flesh of the striped bass to melt? Find out in this special narrated by actor and environmentalist Edward Norton.
  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
Flower Power
Saturday, April 26
Spring is here, and the scents of daffodils, roses and wildflowers are in the air. Pack away the winter blues and make your garden into your oasis with gardener P. Allen Smith and the creative minds of Katie Brown (left) , Vicki Payne and Sloan Payne-Rutter.
  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
  Beginning May 3, Eight World gets an Arizona focus, Monday through Saturday from 1 to 2 pm, with the addition of HORIZON, HORIZONTE, and other programs. Tune in weekday afternoons.  
Car of the Future
Car of the Future
Thursday, April 24 at 5pm & 10pm
Friday, April 25 at 6am & noon
Saturday, April 26 at 4am, 10am & 4pm
How will the car of the future be powered? Nova takes a look at the latest and greatest in the automobile industry, examining new technologies and ideas about America's most common form of transportation.

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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