Iowa Public Television

Monday, February 9, 2009

Why is IPTV continuing analog broadcasting past Feb. 17?

We've heard from viewers concerned about our decision to continue broadcasting analog signals past the original Feb. 17 shutoff date following the national delay approved by Congress. We've also heard from viewers grateful for a little more time to get ready.

Iowa Public Television is, at our core, a public service media organization. We believe it's important to serve all Iowans, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay. And in the past year, we've fulfilled some of that public service role by assisting Iowans with questions and problems converting to digital television. We've conducted more than 100 town hall meetings around the state, aired 30 hours of information about the switch, and talked with thousands of Iowans having difficulty making the transition.

Though we did not advocate for the delay, we do see it as our role to take advantage of the extra time to provide information and assistance to those Iowans who aren't yet ready.

We have no doubt Iowans are aware of the switch - and we're not staying analog to help procrastinators. We believe, through our conversations and visits with Iowans, that most of those who haven't made the switch are having unanticipated difficulties with reception and antenna issues. Still others applied for converter box coupons and are now on a waiting list, or never received coupons to begin with.

There will be utility costs associated with staying analog for a few more months, and in these budget times taking on those costs was a difficult decision. We're finding other ways to save in these demanding budget times, because we strongly feel these costs are an investment in helping as many Iowans as possible be prepared for the switch. And of course, the individual contributions made by members will continue to go directly toward programming.

Iowans rely on television, not just for entertainment and a connection to the outside world, but for important public safety information. And Iowa's families - particularly those families in lower income situations without access to pay television or new televisions - rely on our service for safe, educational children's programs.

So though staying analog does incorporate additional expense, we feel the cost allows us to do the important public service mission with which we are charged - helping all Iowans through public media. It's why we were created, why we are supported, and it's our unique responsibility.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

What about that DTV delay?

By now you've heard about the national delay in the required analog TV shutoff date - the date is now June 12, 2009.

Iowa Public Television will continue to broadcast in analog until the new shutoff date. Though there is additional expense for Iowa Public Television to do so, we want to ensure as many Iowans as possible are able to make the switch.

We're finding that many viewers who contact us are aware of the transition, and have taken steps to be ready. But when they try to make the switch in their homes, many are finding they have reception and antenna issues. So, we're glad to take advantage of this extra time to help viewers on the phone, on the air, and online.

If you're ready, you can watch IPTV's three digital channels right now! And be sure to help your neighbors, family, and friends with their switch.

If you aren't ready, there's no need to wait. Give us a call at (800) 532-1290 and we can help you make the switch in your home.

We're committed to making sure as many people as possible are ready for the analog shutoff.