Conn. Broadcasters Get Feedback From DTV Test

Over 1,700 people call toll free hotline.

The returns are in from Connecticut broadcasters' Dec. 3 test of viewers' preparedness for the Feb. 17, 2009 switch to digital.

According to the Connecticut Broadcasters Association (CBA), 1,706 viewers called in to the toll-free hotline for information. Almost 84% percent of those were from analog over-the-air viewers, and over a thousand of the viewers, or almost 60%, requested DTV-to-analog converter box coupons.

The test consisted of two half-hour periods, one at noon, the other at 5 p.m., during which over-the-air analog viewers saw a screen giving them information on how to make sure they could receive TV after the switch-over to digital, including the phone number and the Web site.

Calls were evenly spaced, with 48% coming at noon and 45% at 5 p.m., with the rest calling in the next day.

More than 115 TV stations participated in the test according to CBA.

The FCC has been encouraging stations to conduct larger and longer tests to help viewers prepare for the transition. Nielsen estimates that still over 7 million homes are analog only and stand to lose their full-power TV signals if they don't take action.