The FCC Digital Demo Fizzled In Oakland

As part of the FCC’s grand tour, FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein stopped by Oakland this evening to explain next February’s transition from analog to digital TV.

Of course, technology will always glitch during demos and tonight was no exception.  “God darn it – it keeps pixelating,” muttered Adelstein as he tried to demo a new digital channel.

Outside the Oakland Asian Cultural Center (map), where the tour made a pit stop, it’s possible to tune channels 9, 11, 14 and 54 successfully.  Inside this concrete building, only channels 14 and 54 worked but there were a few problems.

As the FCC Commissioner explained the transition, his digital demo fizzled.  Adelstein noted the pixelated channel with blocky images, and shifted over to the channel that worked better.  He also mentioned that each current analog channel will be able to deliver four digital channels in its place.

Because the FCC is requiring this transition, it impacts everybody who still relies on broadcast TV without cable or satellite service.  They will need to attach a digital converter box to each TV, as the cheapest option.  This still presents a hurdle, especially for the elderly and low-income Oaklanders.

Thus the Media Alliance sponsored this event, to “get all the facts on the upcoming transition and learn how to help the elderly, disabled or english-limited members of your community” with the transition next February.

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