I just spoke with KCRA 3 news director Anzio Williams, who was very upbeat about the DTV tests conducted last night on Channel 3 (during the 6:30 p.m. newscast) and then again this morning during the 8 a.m. slot on KQCA MY58.
"We learned a lot about our own system and the things we need to work on," Williams says. "And Comcast also came away with what they need to accomplish."
The transition from analog to digital television (DTV) will happen Feb. 17, 2009, so, in addition to the public service announcements that have been running, Williams opted to give viewers a chance to see if their TVs were ready for the switch, especially those viewers with converter boxes.
He reports that some viewers received a "failed" signal "even though it's a good chance their TVs will be fine. And there were some folks who called and realized they didn't have their converter boxes hooked up right. Some still don't have a box."
Some changes were made between last night's test and this morning's test.
"Overall, we learned a lot and I think the tests went really well," Williams says. "Comcast and other smaller cable providers will continue to work on their end."
Williams says the stations will repeat the tests Oct. 17, Dec. 17 and Jan 17 - with a couple of adjustments.
"We'll repeat the tests during a broadcast because we did get some calls from viewers who didn't have enough time to check all of the TVs in their homes," he says. "Our goal is the same as the FCC's - to make sure our viewing community is ready for February."
Williams definitely doesn't want the headaches his sister station in Wilmington, N.C., got hit with when it made the switch to DTV about three weeks ago. The station didn't perform any preliminary tests and got nailed with about 1,500 calls a day until viewers got the problems worked out.
"Just so you know, I did my own personal tests at the station," Williams says. "My DirectTVs worked, one other TV failed and one picked up the signal."
If you particpated in the test and you got a failed signal, doublecheck your converter box to make sure it's hooked up properly. Questions? Click here to get info from KCRA 3.