Well, the horse’s departure from the barn has been delayed, which has given the FCC some extra time to work on the closing the barn door. Last week, the agency announced a revamped Web site for the digital TV transition at www.dtv.gov. With about six weeks to go before the June 12 transition date, this redesigned site looks like a significant improvement over the prior version. It lays out the information in a clearly numbered sequence, and provides more prominent and detailed information about possible problems with the reception of digital signals.
For example, one feature lets you enter your address and it will tell you what stations you can expect to receive. For my location, it predicts that we should get five strong signals and another 10 with moderate strength. And this exactly matches my experience. You can get additional detail including the predicted signal strength, the compass heading to the transmission tower, and information about any planned changes to the digital transmissions between now and the transition date.
Another helpful feature is a 15-page booklet about the transition that you can download. It was created with the help of the Consumers Union — publishers of the Consumer Reports magazine — and provides thorough information without going too deep. It’s available as a free download, and you can get a copy by clicking here.
It’s certainly late, but the FCC is clearly stepping up its efforts to improve the available information about the transition to digital TV broadcasts. If you’re not sure if you’re ready for the changeover, or if you know someone who might need some help with preparations, this is now a good place to start.