TV stations are about to switch - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

TV stations are about to switch

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By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Time is running to make sure you're ready for the switch to digital television. You could find yourself disconnected Friday morning. That's when WALB and other stations will turn off their analog signals.

If you've got cable TV or you see us on DISH satellite, you don't need to do anything.

If you get our signal through an antenna and don't have a digital TV or digital converter box, the signal will disappear.

Ben first of all starting Friday morning you'll need to find us on digital channel 10 instead of digital channel 17. That's going to involve going to your digital TV or your digital converter box and pressing rescan, and it may take some adjustment and re-scanning several times to make it work.

Electronic stores like RadioShack have seen a steady stream of digital converter box sales since January although recently sales have increased.

"We're seeing more people come in now because it's actually happening here in Albany," said RadioShack Manager Martina Barkley.

Hooking up the box is relatively easy. On the back you have an antenna in coax input and a TV out output. You would then take the cable here and plug it in to where it says TV out.

But engineers say it may take more than one try to find the channels you want.

"It probably will not be a first time process, you'll probably have to try a couple of times," said Bill Williams WALB Chief Engineer.

In WALB's case your antenna needs to be pointing toward Doerun in Colquitt County, and the station is changing from a UHF channel 17 to a VHF channel 10 so that means Friday morning you'll need to rescan your digital TV or converter box to find the station.

"You will probably not be able to receive us unless your converter box or rescan your receiver," said Williams. 

The farther you are from Doerun, the tougher time you could have getting a signal, it's already sent many people back to RadioShack in search of more equipment.

"More people are buying the amplified antennas they need with the box or some extra coax cable or something to make their picture better," said Barkley.

RadioShack said if you haven't bought a converter box yet because you're waiting for your voucher, if you buy the box now, when you get the voucher, they'll refund the difference. Your best bet, set up your equipment before Thursday and make sure you have what you need so come Friday it's a simple rescan to get the channels you want.

Remember if you get your local channels on Cable or DISH Network, you don't need to take any action.

But If you're having trouble with the switch and have a question, WALB will have operators ready to help you with your questions all day Friday.  Just call the station at 229-446-1010.

Click Here to go to our DTV-Big Switch page.

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