• From: "John Shutt" <shuttj@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 18 Dec 2008 20:28:22 -0500

We just did our market wide DTV Soft Test tonight. All the stations in town ran a :30 spot at 6:08 PM (most were part of a story in their newscasts) and we all ran one spot on our digital signal (and cable company direct connects) with a green background and text and voiceover that said "you are ready for the digital transition, you don't need to do anything further."

We all ran a different spot on our analog transmitter with a red background that said "you are not ready for the digital transition, you need to do stuff. Call this number." (Or words to that effect.)

We received approximately 250 calls, and roughly 1/3 were from subscribers to a cable company who aren't yet receiving the OTAs via ATSC yet, so they saw the fail message. Another third were from folks with digital television sets, but were watching the analog channel anyway. The last third truly had problems either with digital reception of just certain channels, or truly did need to get a converter box.

This same test has been run in three other markets in Michigan over the past few days, with roughly the same ratio of calls. Kudos to the Michigan Association of Broadcasters for coordinating these tests.

As an aside, for us to put the right message on our analog transmitter, we literally shoved in patches on our patchfield to put a VCR in the analog path. As ugly as it was, our plant was not set up to feed the analog transmitter separately from the direct cable feed, so it had to be patched. That might also have been true for the strange ghost signal John saw in his market. Someone blew the patching.


----- Original Message ----- From: <dan.grimes@xxxxxxxx>

Tom: "Was this one of those tests where the analog TV would display a

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