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Eight Digital Broadcasting e-News

December 17, 2008
  Dear Friend of Eight,  

We are less than 63 days from the Digital Transition of Feb. 17, 2009—when broadcasters will only transmit digital signals from their primary transmitter towers.

The primary transmitter tower serves the local city's market. Many residents across Arizona receive broadcast signals from secondary delivery systems called translator stations (a.k.a. repeater transmitters). Although Eight originates in Phoenix, a viewer in Kingman can watch Eight on channel 49, and a viewer in Flagstaff can watch Eight on channel 14. The translator signals for most Arizona stations will remain analog broadcasts until the FCC approves digital upgrades and the translator's owner can finance the digital upgrade.

In Yuma and Flagstaff, the markets' primary stations (like KYMA and KCFG, respectively) will become digital while the Phoenix stations (like Eight) will remain analog signals via a translator. If you do not subscribe to a pay TV service and use an older analog TV set, you'll need a converter box to watch your local digital channels—but buy a converter with a feature called "RF pass-thru" (or analog pass-thru) so you can also watch the analog channels broadcast from translators. Read more about converter boxes below.


Brendan McEvoy
Brendan McEvoy

Arizona TV Stations to Broadcast DTV Tests

On Wednesday, Dec. 17, and Saturday, Jan. 17, at 6:25 pm, TV stations across Arizona will broadcast a message about the upcoming digital television (DTV) transition. The five-minute message pre-empts regular programming and encourages viewers to take action on analog TV sets that rely on antennas to receive broadcast channels.

FCC Commissioner to Visit Phoenix

There are reports that FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein will visit Phoenix on Monday, Dec. 29 as part of the agency's Consumer Education Tour. Commissioner Adelstein is scheduled to attend an afternoon event at Spectrum Mall (19th Avenue and Bethany Home Rd) which will feature educational exhibits about DTV and converter boxes. The event is free and open to the public.


Q: Am I ready for the digital transition?

A: If you've bought a new digital TV or subscribe to a pay TV service (i.e. cable or satellite), you are ready for the digital transition.

If you use an older analog TV and rely on an antenna to get reception, you must buy a digital-to-analog converter box to receive DTV. And, for reasons stated in the letter above, it's best to purchase a converter box with the RF pass-thru feature if you receive TV from a translator station. RF pass-thru (or analog pass-thru) allows the converter box to receive both analog and digital signals.

Don't wait to buy a converter box

As we get closer to Feb. 17, supplies and selection for converter boxes may dwindle. Converter boxes are available at local electronics stores, and even in the TV departments at major retail stores. Check for the retailer nearest you.

Apply now for a $40 converter box coupon from the government
DTV Coupon

The government is issuing two coupons per household while supplies last. Apply for yours now because delivery can take 4-8 weeks.

If you have a converter box, connect it and use it now

There are digital broadcasters in Coconino, Maricopa, Mohave, Pima, Pinal, Yavapai and Yuma counties.

Don't wait until the last moment to test your converter box; connect it today and test your current antenna.

Maricopa and Pinal Counties enjoy Eight Digital Broadcasting today

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. DirecTV is now transmitting Eight HD and several other Phoenix HD channels.

Check out the full schedule for Eight's digital channels.

Need more help?

Eight's goal is to reduce the confusion surrounding the DTV transition. If you have DTV questions, check Eight's Frequently Asked Questions, e-mail us at AskEight@asu.edu or call Eight's viewer services at 480.965.2308.

You can also read past editions of the Eight Digital Broadcasting e-newsletter online.

  Eight HD
Programs featured below are broadcast with improved picture and sound quality and can be seen on digital channel 8.1 using an antenna, or on Cox 708 or Qwest Choice 308.
Eight HD schedule
Faith Hill
Faith Hill, Joy to the World: A Soundstage Special
Friday, Dec. 19 at 10pm
Backed by an orchestra led by esteemed conductor David Campbell, Faith Hill sings favorites from her upcoming holiday album, Joy to the World, a collection of standards amped up with challenging vocals and ambitious melodic structure.
Operation Filmmaker
Independent Lens
Operation Filmmaker
Tuesday, Dec. 30 at 10pm
In this surprising allegory of America's involvement in Iraq, an Iraqi film student whose school was destroyed by American bombs, lands a dream job working on a Hollywood movie in the West. On set, idealistic expectations and cultural misunderstandings collide launching the student on a journey more complicated than anticipated.
  Eight Create
Saturday's lifestyle, cooking, travel and how-to marathons can be seen on digital channel 8.2 using an antenna or on Cox 80.
Eight Create schedule
P. Allen Smith
Joy of the Holidays
Saturday, Dec. 20
Lifestyle experts, P. Allen Smith (left), Dede Wilson, Chris Fennimore, and Katie Brown show you how to prepare a feast and decorate your home for Chanukah, Christmas and Kwanzaa.
Joanne Weir
Midnight Celebration
Saturday, Dec. 27
It's a long way to midnight on New Year's Eve and chefs Joanne Weir (left), Daisy Martinez and Caprial and John Spence have the right tasty appetizers to keep your party going into the morning hours. And don't forget to toast to the New Year with champagne—France's Champagne Region, that is, with Rudy Maxa.
  Eight World
PBS' award-winning public affairs programs and documentary series can be seen on digital channel 8.3 using an antenna or on Cox 88.
Eight World schedule
Grey Gardens
Independent Lens
Grey Gardens: From East Hampton to Broadway
Wednesday, Dec. 24 at 6pm & 11pm
The 1975 Maysles brothers cult classic Grey Gardens told the story of the eccentric and humorous mother-daughter relationship between Edith Beale and her daughter Edie—aunt and cousin to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. This documentary looks at how their lives set the stage for the Maysles film and later the Broadway musical.
The War Briefing
The War Briefing
Wednesday, Dec. 31 at 4pm & 7pm
Our next president inherits some of the greatest foreign policy challenges in American history—an overstretched military, frayed alliances and wars on two fronts. Strategists and diplomats give viewers a hard, inside look at the real policy choices the next president will face.

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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