Initial reports on the digital transition, performed by 421 of the nation’s approximately 1,800 major TV stations, suggest the switch is proceeding relatively smoothly, but with some minor glitches.
One is more of a public relations failure than a technical one. Some stations making the switch reported a notable volume of calls from viewers who were unaware that they had to manually initiate a scan on their converter boxes to find available channels.
That has prompted the FCC to issue an advisory to that effect.
The FCC said it received 28,315 calls from viewers on Tuesday, but said it would have to wait to tally the total for Wednesday to get a real sense of how much confusion was engendered by the transition because, of the stations scheduled to make the switch, most were waiting until 11:59 p.m. to do so.
The FCC’s call center is set up to handle up to 100,000 calls per day.
Local news outlets in markets – such as San Diego; Madison, Wis.; Waco, Texas; and Wichita, Kan. – where the switch was made suggest that there have been no reports so far of any widespread problems with the transition.