It's been an amazing month for the digital transition.
First, the government announced it ran short on money to fulfill converter box coupon requests, and recent applicants were placed on a waiting list. As coupons expire, additional coupons will be mailed to names on the waiting list.
Amid talk to fund more coupons, some members of Congress, President Obama, the Consumers Union and AARP recommend delaying the digital transition until June 12, 2009.
Congress' first attempt to postpone the transition did not succeed, but another vote is expected soon.
As of today, Eight is planning to convert to digital broadcasting on Feb. 17. We'll let you know if that changes.
PS: The House version of the bill to move the DTV date includes a sentence about extending the expiration dates on coupons, so you may want to tell friends and family to save their expired coupons.
Converter Box Inventories
If you're thinking about buying a digital-to-analog converter box, buy it now.
As we get closer to the transition date, your choice of models could dwindle as inventory is sold. If you don't need the $40 coupon, don't wait to buy a converter box.
Digital reception with an antenna varies from home to home. We have seen great reception using 1950s rabbit ears, 1980s loop antennas, even a length of wire.
If your current antenna doesn't perform well, visit this site and/or this site for antenna information.
DTV Q & A
Q: We just bought a new high-definition, flat screen TV. What can we do with our old analog TV set?
A: If you bought a new HD television set, then you are no doubt enjoying the splendor of Eight programming. Masterpiece and The Story of India come to mind immediately.
There are two options for your old TV:
(1) give it away or donate it to a charity, or
(2) recycle it. Find out how at azpbs.org/Digital (on the lower-left side of the page).
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.
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.
Friday, Jan. 23 at 10pm
Don't miss one of the most popular rock acts of the 70s and 80s as they prove that Foreigner can still rock 30 years later. Singer Kelly Hansen and lead guitarist Mick Jones are a combustible combination on songs like "Hot Blooded" and "Double Vision."
Make 'em Laugh: The Funny Business of America
Parts 5 & 6 air Wednesday, Jan. 28 at 8pm
Delve into the last century of American comedy as seen through the eyes of the most hilarious men and women in American entertainment. Funnyman Billy Crystal hosts a documentary that examines how our nation's sense of humor has evolved over 100 years of political and social change.
Saturday's lifestyle, cooking, travel and how-to marathons can be seen on digital channel 8.2 using an antenna or on Cox 80.
Saturday, Jan. 24
Is the cold weather giving you the blues? Are you longing to feel the sun on your face and the sand between your toes? Spend the day with globetrotters Burt Wolf (left), Rudy Maxa and Darley Newman as they travel to Hawaii, Mexico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Saturday, Jan. 31
The big game is coming up, and whether you're having a parking lot party or game-day company in your home, grill masters Steven Raichlen and Rick Browne and chefs Chris Kimball and Rick Bayless (left) will show you how to prepare a tailgating menu that is second to none.
KNOW YOUR 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.
The Trials of J. Robert Oppenheimer, An American Experience Special
Tuesday, Jan. 27 at 10pm
Trace the course of an extraordinary scientist who helped the U.S. become the first nation to harness nuclear power and create the atomic bomb. Later, Oppenheimer saw his reputation ruined when Washington insiders publicly questioned his past ties to communism.
Wednesday, Jan. 28 at 6pm & 10pm
Examine the subatomic world where Fermilab scientists spend15 months searching for the Higgs boson particle. Will it be found? Will the United States continue to lead the world in science? Or will it slip behind and watch as the greatest minds in physics drift across the Atlantic?
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