ChiTown Not DTV Ready

FCC says Chicago is among cities least ready for switch

It looks like we haven't learned the lessons about the digital transition that TV stations around town have been trying to teach us in the past several months.

The Federal Communications Commission says it has received more calls about the upcoming national transition to digital television from the Chicago area than from any other market.

The agency tested digital television in 125 broadcast markets last week in an effort to alert viewers who still use analog signals. It says the test resulted in 55,374 calls to a help line, 1-800-CALL-FCC.

The FCC says that of those calls, 1,310 came from the Chicago area -- more than any other market. The agency says 13.6 percent of
Chicago rely on over-the-air signals. That's higher than the 11.5% national average.

According to a May 10 audience survey by Nielsen Co., nearly 77,000 Chicago households are not ready for digital TV.

In other words, about one in six of the nearly 476,000 Chicago households that don’t receive television by cable or satellite is going to see a blank screen on June 13, unless they act soon, according to Crain's Chicago Business.

Officials say the Chicago callers asked about reception issues and the government's $40 coupons for converter boxes.
For more information and to answer some of the questions you may have, see's "Get The Picture" page.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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