FCC Offers Free DTV Help

Monday, June 15th 2009, 6:02 pm
By: News On 6

By Emory Bryan, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- A lot of television viewers are still trying to make the switch to digital service.

For people who can't figure out their setup, the government has in-home help available.

It's a taxpayer funded service through the FCC, but it's free for people who call in for help.

Leneta Dyer lost her TV reception when the analog channels went off the air.

"We have been TV'less since Friday," said Leneta Dyer, a viewer of The News On 6.

Mrs. Dyer called an FCC hotline for help and they sent out Jerry Flores to help her figure out digital TV.

Flores says he already has a long list of people who need help.

Most people, he says, don't have their antenna aimed properly.

It can be adjusted for the best reception using the meter that's built into the converter box.

"They have to go to meter. Once they get to meter, then they can play with the antenna. And the meter will say 20, 30 and then they can go scan," said Jerry Flores of JAF Electronics.

The scan is how the box finds the new channels, and for Dyer, it resulted in 29 channels using a set of rabbit ears.

"I'm looking forward to looking at the new channels because before I was only able to get about 5 channels," said Dyer.

While a set of rabbit ears will usually pick up something, an attic mounted or rooftop antenna will usually work better. Of course, this digital over the air service is absolutely free.

"Once I have it set, I tell people, ‘don't touch it,'" said Flores.

Flores says the key is checking the signal coming in from the antenna to get it set before scanning to find out which channels are available.

If that doesn't work, the government can send out someone to help.

"We'll get to all these people eventually, we just need people to be patient," said Flores.

You can get in touch with the FCC to get help at your home.

The Digital TV Help Line is 1-800-CALL-FCC.