WBTV to conduct DTV test tonight

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - WBTV will be doing a DTV soft shut-down test tonight at 7:32 pm that will last for 2 minutes.

During that time, the analog signal will be shut off.  Only homes viewing over-the-air will be affected.  The objective of this test is for people who will be affected by the DTV transition to know now.

There will be a slate up for those 2 minutes stating "If you are seeing this, you are NOT prepared for the 'Big Switch' on February 17, 2009.  Call 704-373-3333 for more information."

Click here if you have questions about the DTV transition.

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Starting February 17, 2009, television will stop broadcasting via analog signal and make "The Big Switch" to a digital signal only.  For people with an antenna on top of your home or on top of your TV, you will need a digital converter box to continue receiving a picture and watching television.

WBTV News is here to help clear up any confusion.  If your TV is already hooked up to cable or satellite, you don't need a digital converter box.

Only viewers with over the air antennas will be affected by the digital transition. If you do need a converter box, it is easy to hook up.  Just follow these few simple steps to connect your digital converter box and keep your TV picture.

1. You'll need to buy a digital converter box which you can buy with or without a government discount coupon.  Click here for information about the coupon.

2. Fill out the information form which you can mail in to receive your coupon.  You can purchase a converter box at most electronic retailers with or without a discount coupon.  Please remember, you will need a converter box for each TV not hooked up to cable or satellite.

3. Once you get your converter box, look at the back and you'll see a couple different kinds of hook ups.  Most brands are well labeled, but the first thing you need to look for is the "Antenna In" port.  This is where you will need to attach the wire that comes directly from your antenna into your digital converter box.

4. Now, it's time to hook the box to your television.  Depending on how new your TV is, there are a couple different ways this can be done.  The box we have has an "RF Port".  The "RF Port" uses the same type of wire as the antenna, so you'll want to make sure you don't get them confused.  Most brands have this port clearly marked with a label like "TV OUT".  Screw on one end of the wire to this terminal and the other to the back of your television.

5. Now turn on your TV and set it to channel three.  After turning on your new digital box, you'll have to scroll through the menu and set it to scan for new channels.

6. Once the scan is complete, you'll find yourself back in business, using your new digital converter box to watch television.