6abc takes part in DTV test

PHILADELPHIA - November 18, 2008 - On Monday, 6abc took part in a statewide test to help consumers prepare.

At 6:25 p.m., 6abc shut off its analog signal and, for one minute, broadcast only in digital. The purpose was to let everyone test their televisions, to see if they're ready for the digital switch to take place in February, 2009.

Viewers who continued to see Action News are fine, and don't need to do anything. Viewers who saw a pre-recorded message saying they failed the DTV test will need to make a change.

If you saw that message, and you subscribe to cable or satellite, call your provider for help.

If you don't subscribe to cable or satellite, you may need to hook up a digital converter box.

If you've already done that, and still had problems, it may be because your box isn't connected properly, or because you weren't tuned into 6abc's digital channel, 6-1.

And here's another issue a lot of people contacted us about.. A weak signal or bad reception.

If you have a malfunctioning box, you'll have to exchange it at the retailer where you bought it.

But here's another likely reason for bad reception.. You may have to upgrade or move your antenna.

You should also check your connections. You may have to re-set the wires connecting your antenna, TV and converter box.

The other common question people had concerned the government coupons to help defray the cost of converter box. You may go out and buy a digital converter box any time you want, you don't need the government coupon. Without the coupon, however, you will pay full price.

But if you do want the government's help to pay for your boxes.. You need to apply for coupons by calling 1-888-D-T-V-2009 or go to THIS LINK to apply online.

Each household can get two coupons worth 40-dollars each. But you need to use them right away. They expire after 90 days and there are no replacements.

February 17th is the day the government has ordered television stations like 6abc to shut off its analog signal and broadcast 100% digital.

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