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DTV Solution: Shoot the Tube

2:05 PM -- By most accounts, the initial phase of the national broadcast digital TV transition has gone fairly smoothly after 641, or 36 percent, of all full-power TV stations terminated regular analog operations on or before Feb. 17. (See 641 TV Stations Go Digital on Deadline.)

Then there's that case in Missouri about a 70-year-old man who allegedly took out his frustrations by squeezing off a few rounds at his TV set.

According to a report, the "homeowner was angry that he had lost his cable, and was unable to get his new DTV converter to work properly. After a brief standoff, the man was taken into custody. His wife told officers the suspect had been drinking."

Easy, people. It's only television.

Meanwhile, the latest report about the transition from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is a tad more pleasant. According to a Commission report (PDF) that analyzes the nature of the trouble calls coming into the FCC's help line (1-888-CALL-FCC), 32 percent of them were from consumers who had questions about reception and technical issues. The most common complaints were tied to problems with converter boxes.

Call volume spiked on Feb. 17 (27,764 calls), but didn't recede much on the following day, when the center took 25,320 calls. (See FCC Cites DTV Trouble Calls.)

The FCC has not yet released any DTV-related call volume data beyond Feb. 18. Also, no word yet if any other analog TVs have met ugly, untimely deaths as a result of the digital transition.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 4:11:10 PM
re: DTV Solution: Shoot the Tube For those who care to track this calls to the FCC hotline were down to 17,920 on Thursday (2/19), versus 25,320 on Wednesday.

The FCC has also broken call volume down by state:

TV viewers in California (11.55%) and Texas (7.6%) are causing the hotline to light up the most. On the other end, Alaska, not surprisingly, is responsible for least least number of calls (0.04%), followed by New Hampshire (0.08%)
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