Change to digital TV brings few complaints

The switch to digital television has begun, and if Lexington is any indication, it hasn't been very painful.

ABC affiliate WTVQ-36 was the only Lexington station to turn off its analog signal at midnight Tuesday. By midday Wednesday, it had received fewer than 250 calls from viewers.

"It's pretty much about what I expected," said General Manager Chris Aldridge.

About one-fourth of the country's TV stations have made the switch, despite Congress's vote to allow them to delay the switch, if they want, until June 12.

Lawmakers approved the delay because of concerns that people weren't ready. Among the arguments was that the federal coupon program to subsidize the costs of converter boxes ran out of money.

Converter boxes are required to view digital programming on analog televisions not hooked up to cable or satellite service.

Aldridge said some of WTVQ's callers complained they have yet to receive coupons, but the vast majority called with only technical questions.

Regional CBS affiliate WYMT-57 in Hazard also cut its analog signal and had received only three calls by 5 p.m. Wednesday.

General Manager Ernestine Cornett had expected very few because the station's analog transmitter had been shut down anyway between September 2007 and February 2008 after a part broke.