Monday, January 5, 2009

FCC Chair In Town Tomorrow

WKRC-TV/DT 12 reported on their noon news just minutes ago that FCC Chairman Kevin Martin will be in Cincinnati tomorrow, trying to help educate people about the Digital Transition.

Martin and the other four FCC Commissioners will be at the Cincinnati-Hamilton County Community Action Agency on Langdon Farm Road at 9:30 AM. The FCC is visiting several TV markets, especially those in which more than 100,000 households or at least 15% of the households rely solely on over-the-air signals for television reception, according to Local12.

Viewers of course have until 2/17 to get cable, satellite, or a converter (or brand new TV) to continue getting programming.

Here's the link to the story from WKRC and Local12.com.

5 comments:

emery_r said...

A bit of a rant concerning the digital conversion: While it's impossible to ignore the improvement in picture quality etc. we get from digital, we're definitely NOT getting the full QUANTITY of new programming that's possible. Only our local PBS affiliates seem to be offering multiple digital sub-channels with a variety of programming choices. What are our commercial stations offering? Both WLWT and WCPO have 24-hour weather channels, while WXIX and WSTR don't even broadcast a 2nd channel; only WKRC has a full-fledged sub-channel offering the CW network. (To be fair, WKOI has multiple sub-channels, all featuring religious programming.)

For all the drum-beating and fanfare surrounding the impending digital conversion, I'm afraid that local commercial broadcasters aren't leaping into the future -- they're actually returning to the days when the FCC chairman referred to television as a "vast wasteland". Come on, Cincinnati broadcasters -- you can make far better use of digital technology, can't you? Give us some diverse new programming!

Secondary rant: Where I live (western Butler County), I'm definitely LOSING broadcast stations with digital. With analog, I can pick up all the Dayton stations with fair to good signals; with digital, I get exactly ONE. I now receive Louisville's WAVE on Channel 3 clearly on analog, but not on digital. And I'm using a new, highly recommended amplified indoor antenna too.

Have to say, digital is a mixed bag for me. It's an improvement in some ways, but not ALL ways.

Tri-State Media Watch said...

Emery,

That's a good point. Some of the digital channels will be overrun by others. I know that in NE Ohio, there's at least one station which will bump into a station from Detroit. How much worse will it be for those from Cincy bumping into the Dayton ones?

And yes, it's true that WSTR and WXIX don't currently offer secondary channels. WXIX however used to until the Tube music channel shut down.

emery_r said...

Yes, you're correct about WXIX, of course. But for over 12 months, all they've broadcast on their sub-channel is a message apologizing for the loss of TheTube programming. Yes, for more than one full year! Why are they even wasting the electricity to send out that signal? There has got to be something more worthwhile -- RTN (RetroTelevision), perhaps? Anything???

Tri-State Media Watch said...

That's a good option there.

Or maybe WXIX can do what WOIO does in Cleveland and have a 24/7 stream of their StormTracker Doppler Radar and a voicetrack forecast.

emery_r said...

Not to beat this topic to death, but do we need a THIRD 24-hour-a-day Cincinnati weather channel on broadcast TV? That hardly seems the best use of these digital sub-channels, you know? One weather channel, yes; two such channels, maybe -- but certainly not three.

A bit of diversity and innovation, please! It makes people like me long for the days of creativity we enjoyed decades ago when Crosley Broadcasting and others actually offered a variety of programming across the dial -- and they did it with only a single analog broadcast signal per station. Sure, it wasn't all great and there was a lot of junk on the schedule then, but non-stop weather isn't the only service local viewers crave or deserve now.