The Countdown Is Done... We Have Ignition!

By: Michael Riddle
By: Michael Riddle

We've known about it for years. We talked about it ad nauseam for many..many... many months. The day is finally here. Welcome to the wonderful new world of digital broadcasting!

The countdown is done.  It's over.

You've heard about the transition to digital television for many months now, almost "ad nauseam".
That day is here. We pulled the switch... sorta.
WITN has ceased airing regular programming on WITN analog channel 7.  However, during this final week of analog broadcasting we received a last-minute, special request from the Federal Communications Commission to provide "Nightlight" service to eastern North Carolina. We agreed to that request, so if you turn on WITN analog channel 7 you will see a 20-minute loop consisting of NAB produced informational programming, this "Just Ask Mike" segment and sponsorship information from Suddenlink. One surprise, this programming is offered in both English and Spanish... though my voice has a little higher pitch and feminine characteristics when heard in Spanish!
We’ve gotten a lot of questions about the transition
“I watch WITN using an antenna. Will I need a new TV?”
Yes a new television with a digital tuner will solve the problem. Most television sets sold after 2005 have digital tuners built into them. However, if you can’t afford a new TV, then all you need is a digital converter. Digital converters are low-cost, available and easy to connect using either a coaxial cable or RCA cables. If you’ve ever hooked up a VHS machine or DVD,  you can hook up a converter.
“O.K. I’ve hooked up my converter but I am having trouble picking up WITN. What’s wrong?”
I’m afraid that your antenna is letting you down!
WITN broadcasts its digital signal on the UHF band
You need an antenna capable of picking up a UHF signal. A small set top antenna might work, but they are designed for city dwellers. If you live too far from the WITN tower in Grifton a set top antenna may not do the job. Some antennas are sold as HDTV antennas. Don't buy it.  A antenna that worked well in the 1990's will work just as well with digital television in this decade. Remember that modern day construction can effectively knock down reception by up to 50% for an antenna mounted inside a building
Try moving the antenna or using an amplified antenna. Place your antenna near a window, facing towards Grifton, which is between Kinston and Greenville. .
Otherwise you may need an outside antenna. There are several good antennas available that can pick up UHF signals as far as 90 miles away.
If you’re not ready, don’t despair. Assistance is available.
Call the FCC hotline at: 1-888-CALL FCC or 1-888-225-5332. They plan to man this hotline 24 hours a day for several more weeks. The FCC also has a list of local agencies that can work with viewers to install and configure converters and antennas.
You can also call us here at WITN, or e-mail us at and we will do our best to help you make the transition, as smooth and easy as possible!
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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by John Location: Greenville on Jul 6, 2009 at 11:37 AM
    Don sounds like the CRT in your TV is worn out. Red is always to first color to get messed up on older sets.
  • by Don Location: New Bern on Jun 25, 2009 at 06:42 PM
    We were hoping that this issue would go away with the advent of HD, but it hasn't. At times, shimmering blue vertical bars will appear on red objects or scenes with a red back drop. Any idea what this is?
  • by juanita Location: United States on Jun 19, 2009 at 07:45 AM
    i have connected everthing and now i can receive 7 and your weather channel, but nothing else. i scanned the channels. what is my problem. the tv is at least 10 years old and the antenna has 2 long and 1 round with the new box adapter.... thanks.....
  • by Russ Krainiak Location: Washington on Jun 17, 2009 at 10:08 AM
    Mike, the new WITN web site changes are not popular in my office. All have said its not very user friendly with the new changes. I don't know if it is getting used to it or it is just harder to get around on it. I think too much breakdown of stories is very much the problem. I navigated it this morning and found it wasn't as good as the old version. Is this the change we have been hearing about?
  • by Anonymous Location: LaGrange on Jun 16, 2009 at 10:26 AM
    I am sick of hearing about it!
  • by j Location: greenville on Jun 16, 2009 at 07:06 AM
    so when is witn going hd with its news and other original programing? ECU games would be nice in hd aswell.
  • by Jacqueline Location: LaGrange on Jun 15, 2009 at 03:51 PM
    I think the digital tv really sucks.I have'nt been able to watch Channel 7,since noon Friday.I purchased The converter box and bought a new UHF/VHF antenna and it did absolutely nothing.The sad part of it is,we have "Direct Tv",but have to get our network channels from Raleigh.I don't give a darn about the news from Raleigh,and where does "Neilsons get off telling us we have to receive the networks from Raleigh,when we are closer to New Bern.So I am done watching,Heather and Jim and the news and weather folks on Channel 7.Bye ,I've enjoyed watching you since 1981,when we moved here fron Illinois.

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