One Week Until Digital Transition

The countdown is on.

The transition to digital at WILX-TV happens in just one week, on Feb. 17.

"Hang in there," says Karole White, president and CEO of the Michigan Association of Broadcasters. "It's going to be great."

"There's going to be more channels, and there's going to be better pictures," White says. "Everybody in the end, I think, will be glad for the switch."

To be glad, you first need to be ready. If you have cable or satellite TV, you're all set.

"Remember to check all the televisions in your home," cautions White. "Just because you have cable on the main TV, don't forget about the TV that's in the garage."

If you use an antenna to get your TV over the air, you have a few options: You can buy a new TV, subscribe to cable or satellite, or buy a digital converter.

Converter boxes may be flying off the shelves at Radio Shack, but they are still available. Don't forget, though, you need an antenna to make it all work.

"The digital signals are a little weaker, so your old rabbit ears might not pull in as many channels anymore," says Christine Kolb, a Radio Shack sales associate. "So you might have to bump it up to an amplified antenna."

Starting Wednesday, WILX-TV will be running more crawls throughout regular programming, to make viewers aware the transition is fast approaching.

"The F.C.C. mandates an increase," explains White.

The F.C.C. decides how many messages, and how often. Though it may interfere with your favorite show, there's good reason.

"Television is not only entertainment, television is also emergency information," White says. "And we do not want one person left behind, not knowing where to get their information in case of an emergency."

It's so you're not left in the dark.


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