KSBY-TV will convert to digital broadcasting February 17, 2009

Thursday, February 5, 2009

(San Luis Obispo, CA) - KSBY-TV intends to cease analog broadcasting on Tuesday, February 17, 2009. Viewers who rely on over-the-air service, with an analog TV set, will lose reception of KSBY's programming, unless they use a converter box to convert the digital signal to be compatible with their analog set.

Converter boxes can be purchased at electronic retailers and online. If local residents in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties subscribe to cable or satellite service, they should not lose reception after February 17.  Viewers who watch KSBY on channel 59 will continue to receive us until we convert to digital later this year.

The Central Coast CW network will continue to be available on cable channel 5 and for viewers already receiving an over-the-air digital signal. Viewers who have an analog TV, connected to a digital converter box, will also receive the Central Coast CW. The Central Coast CW digital channel is 6.2.*

According to KSBY President and General Manager Evan Pappas, "KSBY 6 has been preparing for this transition for more than three years.  We have been educating the public of when and how to make this transition date of 2/17/09 for the past year.  The data we have reviewed indicates our market (San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties) is more prepared than others for the transition to digital broadcasting (primarily due to the smaller percentage of over-the-air viewers).  Many other markets in the country have already made the conversion to digital.  We are keeping our promise to the viewers."

For more information on KSBY's transition to digital broadcasting, log on to www.ksby.com, call (805) 597-8500, or email bingram@ksby.com. For more general information on the digital switch, call the FCC at 888-CALL-FCC.

KSBY-TV, the region's #1 station and #1 news leader, is a local NBC affiliate serving San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties. KSBY can be viewed on cable channel 4 in San Luis Obispo County and cable channel 6 in Santa Barbara County. KSBY also operates The CW, viewed on cable channel 5 and over the air on digital 6.2*  

*Due to varying terrain, over the air signals may not be available in all areas.


 

Monday, February 16, 2009

Reported by: Stacy Daniel

There is just one day left before the major local TV stations go all digital.

At 11:59 p.m. Tuesday night, KSBY along with KEYT and KCOY will end standard analog broadcasting. That means if you are using an analog TV and antenna to watch television, you will need to hook up a digital converter box in order to keep your picture.

Converter boxes are available online and at stores including Radio Shack and Best Buy.

We have a step by step guide to help make your transition as smooth as possible. 

The switch from analog to digital begins with a converter box and antenna. If you already have an antenna on your roof, it may work for digital TV. If not, you can buy an indoor UHF antenna or one for your roof.

KSBY Chief Engineer Bill Ingram said, "You need the connection to your outside antenna or your inside antenna, which in this case is what I have here, and you connect it to the Antenna In on your converter box."

Then take the cable that was supplied with the converter box. Run it from the TV out connection on the box to the antenna in connection on your TV.

There are just a few more steps before you woll be able to see a picture on your set.

Ingram said, "You need to know what channel the converter box is set to out put a signal on, and that's the channel you want to tune your television to."

When you turn your box on for the first time, you will be automatically directed to the set up menu. Use the remote control to enter your information and scan for available channels.

"The converter box, when it's powered up, doesn't automatically know what channels are available. You have to tell it to do that," Ingram said.

If you have followed these steps correctly, you should have a picture on your television set.

If you're having trouble getting a signal, KSBY is here to help. You can visit a walk-in center in our lobby. It's open weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at 1772 Calle Joaquin in San Luis Obispo.

KSBY Director of Community Affairs, Madeline Palaszewaki said, "[The walk-in center] is going to have information on how to obtain converter boxes, how to install converter boxes. We'll have information on what the coverage map will look like once we're digital only."

Once viewers have their converter boxes hooked up, they will get an added bonus. They will be able to pick up our sister station over the air for free.

Palaszewaki said, "They'll now be able to get the CW on 6.2 on digital."

If you are not ready to make the change to digital, you need to act fast, because after February 17, the picture on your television screen will turn to static.

Remember, if you subscribe to cable or satellite TV, you're already prepared for the digital switch.

If you still have questions, we're here to help. You can contact our Engineering Department directly at 597-8500 or send an e-mail to bingram@ksby.com.

You can reach the FCC's digital TV hotline at 1-888-CALL-FCC or visit KSBY.com and click the digital TV banner at the top of the page.


 

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Reported by: Melissa Mecija

The federal government has given TV stations the option of delaying their switch to digital broadcast. However, many stations, including KSBY, will stick to the original date and go completely digital on February 17.

KSBY has been preparing for this change for more than three years, and the transition now is just days away.

If you have a satellite or a cable box, not to worry, you are okay. But if you use an antenna to watch your favorite programs, come February 17 it may be lights out.

Santa Maria resident Richard Stowell is part of the 10 percent of viewers that depends on antennas. "Basically, what I use the television for is the news, and then there's some detective stories and things."

He knows for other seniors like him, part of the problem has been the coupons since the government ran out.

"It's kind of a pain if you're on a fixed income. If you can't get the coupon, they tell you just go out and buy a $60 [converter]. But it's kind of hard because some of those people don't have that $60 in the first place," Stowell said.

Even though Stowell had to break an old viewing habit, he agrees with the change. "I think hooking up on the control box will, like I say, will bring me more channels and things. Make some of it a lot clearer, so it sounds pretty good."

It is a change toward a clearer future, literally, as the broadcast industry nationwide makes the big transition.

As far as those $40 coupons are concerned, the government fund ran out of money in early January. The Democratic stimulus plan would add about $650 million to jumpstart the coupon program.

Locally, as an added bonus, if you currently have an analog TV, once you connect to a digital converter box you will also receive our sister station, the Central Coast CW.  

If you have any questions regarding this change, click here. Or, you can call our engineering department directly at (805) 597-8500.


 

Friday, February 6, 2009

Reported by: Colin Seiler

This week, Congress voted to postpone the move to digital broadcasting.

But the delay is optional for TV stations, and KSBY is prepared to make the switch on the originally promised date of February 17.

The switch only affects viewers who receive TV programming over the air. That is less than 10 percent of the households in our region.

If you subscribe to cable or satellite TV, you won't notice a change. But if you have an analog TV and antenna, you will need to buy a converter box by February 17.

To make sure you are ready, visit KSBY.com or call (805) 597-8500.

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