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Tips on the DTV Switch

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Burlington, Vermont - February 16, 2009

For more than 50 years, we have been broadcasting to the area with an analog signal. Starting February 18th, we make the shift to digital.

When WCAX transitions to digital television, some viewers throughout the Burlington-Plattsburgh area will lose over-the-air service. This loss of service will occur because the FCC assigned WCAX a UHF channel for its digital broadcast signal and limited its power.

As of February 18, 2009, WCAX will be broadcasting on UHF channel 22.

Based on this map, areas indicated in green are predicted to receive WCAX-DT. Areas in orange may not receive WCAX-DT.

The most affected areas will be:

  • The Connecticut River Valley, particularly on the Vermont side of the Connecticut River.
  • Coos, Grafton and Sullivan Counties in New Hampshire east of the first range of hills along the Connecticut River.
  • Eastern portions of Essex, Caledonia and Orange Counties in Vermont.
  • Many areas of Windsor County in Vermont, particularly in the southern portions.
  • Eastern portions of Addison County, Vermont.
  • Portions of Washington County, Vermont east of the Worcester Range, as well as portions of Montpelier, Barre and Barre Town.
  • Eastern Franklin County and northwestern Orleans County.
  • Western Essex County and all of Franklin County in New York.

Viewers in affected areas should go to www.antennaweb.org to obtain a more precise signal prediction based on their exact location or send an email, which includes their physical address, to channel3@wcax.com.

Making the switch to digital is relatively easy. If you are connected to satellite or cable, then you don't have to do anything. If you get WCAX over the air with an antenna, you either need to get a converter box, or purchase a digital television with an ATSC Tuner.

Here's how to set up a converter box:

  • Find the cable to the TV that runs from your antenna.
  • Remove it and put it into the "antenna in" jack on the converter box.
  • Take the coax cable that came with the converter box and put that into the "antenna out" jack on the converter box.
  • Put the other end into the "antenna in" jack on the TV.
  • You can also use audio/visual cables if your TV has the correct inputs.
  • Turn the TV on to channel 3 or 4.
  • Plug the converter box into a wall outlet.
  • Turn on the converter box using the remote, and you should see the output of the converter box on the TV screen.
  • It will either prompt you to scan for local channels or it will do so automatically.

If you need help applying for a converter box, or need help setting one up, you can always call us here at the station, or come on by during business hours and we can help you. Our address is: 30 Joy Drive, South Burlington, Vt., our phone number is 888-202-4870.

For those who cannot receive our signal and live in remote areas, the best option is satellite service. Dish TV provides basic service for about $25 a month and Direct TV for about $30 a month-- both including local channels.

They would not tell us how many subscribers have ordered satellite service in the last few months.

Alex Martin - WCAX Vice President of Operations

Related Stories:

DTV Help Line

DTV Switch Goes Forward in Vermont

Click here for more on the DTV Transition.

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