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Calls for Help

1:20 PM -- The switch boards at Wilmington, N.C.-area television stations didn't exactly light up like a pinball machine after the city made an early digital transition on Monday, but phone lines weren't exactly dormant, either. (See Wilmington Flips the Digital Switch .)

According to the most recent figures released by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) , four of the five stations that made the switchover -- WECT (NBC), WILM (CBS), WSFX (Fox), and WWAY (ABC) -- reported receiving 226 calls from viewers about the transition. Of that total, just one was from a consumer who was unaware of the change. Most calls were from people who had installed their digital-to-analog converter boxes incorrectly or needed to adjust their TV reception antennas. It's estimated that about 14,000 homes in the Wilmington area rely on over-the-air television signals.

"Virtually everyone in Wilmington knew the switch was coming, although it appears a number of people waited until the last minute and had reception and technical issues that could have been resolved before the switch," said WWAY GM Andy Combs, in a statement.

At the urging of Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner Michael J. Copps, Wilmington volunteered in May to migrate early and offer some "real world" experience and lessons learned that could prove valuable to other stations before the real transition occurs on February 17, 2009. (See DTV Transition Test Bed .)

Lesson learned No. 1: People procrastinate.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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