Finally, Digital TV

Imagine handling more than 1,000 phone calls in the span of a few hours.

As a public service, Elon’s School of Communications set up a call center today for the people of North Carolina who still need to convert their TV sets to a digital format.

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Elon's DTV call center during a January 2009 test, with an FCC officer on hand

Nationwide, estimates are that more than 2 million homes — representing about 2% of the U.S. population — were unable to receive TV signals when the nationwide conversion occurred today.

By mid-afternoon, our call center had logged more than 1,000 calls from people across the state. The student crew, including a staff member from the Federal Communications Commission, will be back all day tomorrow as well to assist would-be TV viewers.

“I’ve been waiting for this for 13 years,” said Dr. Connie Book, associate dean of the School of Communications who directed the public-service initiative. “Congress passed the digital legislation in 1996, and it took 13 years to get digital TV into every living room.”

Digital television enables broadcasters to offer better picture and sound quality as well as multiple programming choices (called multicasting) and interactive video and data services.

By involving students in this way, Connie Book gave our students a valuable hands-on experience in understanding how technological change can impact people in their homes and businesses. Not only did North Carolina citizens benefit from this public-service initiative, so did our students.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Communications Today, Students, Technology

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