Digital Transition

DTV is coming. Are you ready?

A big change is coming to television. On June 12, 2009, America will switch to Digital Television (DTV) broadcasting. Many people will be affected, and you may be one of them.

By taking some simple steps, you can ensure that you will continue getting all the television channels you love – including WLIW21 – without interruption.

What is DTV?

DTV is a new form of television based on the same kind of digital information that computers use. It offers better picture and sound quality, and the ability for broadcasters like WLIW21 to offer several different channels at the same time. It does not, however, offer better reception… just better picture and sound quality.

What’s the difference between high–definition and digital TV?

High–definition television (HDTV) displays the highest quality digital TV pictures. While a standard digital picture consists of 480 horizontal lines on the screen, full HDTV uses 1,080 lines to compose a much more precisely tuned and beautifully detailed TV picture. (Think of the difference between newspaper photos and those in a glossy magazine.) An HD signal also includes Dolby digital surround sound, which offers a superior sound experience. The 2009 federally–mandated switch is merely from analog to digital. Going from analog to HDTV is entirely optional.

How does the switch to DTV affect you?

To receive DTV, you must have the right kind of TV set and accessories. If you don’t, your TV set won’t work after June 12, 2009.

*Cable and satellite subscribers – You’re all set!

Special note for Comcast basic cable subscribers.
If you subscribe to a pay TV service like cable or satellite, you should not have to do anything. Your service provider will take care of everything.

*Viewers with antennas – You need to act!

If you don’t subscribe to cable or satellite, but instead get your TV with an antenna – either “rabbit ears” on top of your TV set or a rooftop antenna – follow these easy steps:

A) Determine if your television has a digital tuner. Consult your owner’s manual or contact the manufacturer. Some TV sets with digital turners are labeled “integrated digital tuner,” “digital receiver,” “digital tuner,” “DTV,” or “ATSC.” If you bought your TV set before 1998, it probably does not have a digital tuner. If you bought it after 2004, there is a good chance – but no guarantee – that it does have a digital tuner. Be aware, however, that a set labeled “digital monitor” “HDTV monitor” or “digital ready” may not have a digital tuner.

B) If your TV does have a digital tuner, it is ready for DTV and it will continue to work after June 12, 2009.

If your TV does not have a digital tuner, you have three options:

Connect your TV to cable, satellite or another pay service. If you do this, you will not need to do anything else.
Special note for Comcast basic cable subscribers.

Replace your old TV with a new one that has a digital tuner. A wide range of DTV sets are available at a reasonable cost.

Purchase a TV converter box. This will cost you between $40 and $70. The government is offering coupons to cover a portion of the price of this box. To request your coupon, call 1–888–DTV–2009, or visit on the Web.

Please note: A wide variety of converter boxes are available. We strongly recommend purchasing one that has an “analog pass–through” feature. This will allow you to view all of WLIW21’s programming both before and after June 12, 2009. A list of converter boxes can be found at on the web at The boxes with analog pass–through are marked with an asterisk. Your local electronics retailer can also help you with this purchase

I have a converter box, but cannot see WLIW21. What should I do?

It is recommended that BEFORE attaching the digital converter box, that you adjust your antenna to get the clearest analog picture possible. After attaching the digital box, do a scan of the digital channels and you should see WLIW21. If that doesn’t work, try a rescan or manually entering channel 22, (the on–air frequency for the digital channel) which will be converted to 21 once the signal is recognized. Also, since WLIW21’s transmitter is located on the Nassau/Suffolk county border in Plainview, Long Island, you may need to point your antenna in that direction.

However, on June 12th, WLIW will begin broadcasting on channel 21 digital. This will require you to re-scan channels on your digital converter box or HD television. This must be done because WLIW will not be the only channel moving. Thirteen/WNET, as well as most of the stations in New York will be relocating their digital signals to different channels on that day.

WLIW has contacted the FCC for a power increase but, to date, has not gotten a confirmation. This means that if you are having difficulty receiving WLIW digital now, you will continue to have this problem. WLIW expects an answer by the end of August.

DTV is simple!

At first glance, it may seem confusing. But it’s simple really. Follow the steps above and you will be ready to enjoy the wonderful world of DTV. Don’t wait. June 12, 2009 will be here before you know it. Get ready for DTV today!

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Digital TV Schedules