DTV switch upcoming

By Liliana Castillo: Freedom New Mexico

The National Association of Broadcasters Road Show came to Clovis Saturday.

The show gives residents a chance to ask specific questions about the switch to digital television.

On Feb. 17, broadcasters will stop broadcasting analog signals, only broadcasting digital signals.

Angie Malone, media spokesperson for NAB and Manuel Izaguirre, field manager, spent Saturday answering questions for Clovis area residents at the Clovis-Carver Public Library. Here are four of the most common questions the pair have been asked on their trip:

What do I do with my antenna? — “People ask us about their antenna all the time. They want to know what to do with it and how it’s involved in the switch. You will need your antenna if you don’t have cable or satellite and you may need to get a new one depending on location.”

What is the difference between high definition television and digital television? “You don’t need to have an HDTV, LCD or plasma TV for this transition, just a TV with a built in digital tuner or a converter box and antenna. High definition is just the top tier of digital television.”

Coupons, coupons, coupons — “We get every question about the coupons. Some waited to long to use the coupons and they’ve expired or couldn’t register for one because they have a P.O. Box address. Currently, the government coupon program for a digital converter box is out of funding. But you can register to get on a waiting list for when they receive more funding. Coupons are registered for by address and you can only receive one set of coupons for that address. People with P.O. Box addresses or that live in nursing homes are now eligible for a coupon after a rules revision in October.”

How do I install the converter box I bought? “After people get the coupon and buy the box and get it home they go “huh?” We tell them all the time they have to use the instructions that came with the box for connectivity and programming the channels. We do have detailed instructions on general installation but each box is different. Read the instructions that came with it.”

For information about the switch to digital television, visit

By the numbers:

The National Association of Broadcasters Road Show will visit 600 locations between two teams, traveling 95,000 miles in a truck shaped like a 20 foot television with a 10 foot antenna.