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AETN schedules DTV testing for Dec. 17

To help viewers prepare for the upcoming digital transition, the Arkansas Educational Television Network, in partnership with the Arkansas Broadcasters Association and many Arkansas commercial television broadcasters, will conduct a shutdown test of the analog broadcast signal on Wednesday, Dec. 17, at 6:30 and 10 p.m.

We see this as a prime opportunity for viewers to determine whether theyre ready for the transition, ask questions if theyre concerned and then prepare their television for digital, AETN Executive Director Allen Weatherly said. The most important thing to remember is not to panic we want viewers to be able to watch AETN and their other favorite channels, so were here to help anyone who needs assistance.

Each test will last three minutes, alerting viewers who receive analog signals whether or not they are ready for the DTV transition, which occurs at midnight on Feb. 17, 2009. If viewers are not ready, the scheduled AETN program that evening will be briefly replaced with information about what they must do to continue receiving television signals after Feb. 17.

Viewers who rely on rabbit ears or rooftop antennas particularly stand to be affected by the transition. The three-minute test will give viewers an opportunity to check each television in their home that is hooked to an antenna or rabbit ears to see if it is ready for digital. If viewers see the special message, and their analog television set is not connected to cable or satellite, they need either a digital television set or a DTV converter box before 11:59 p.m. on Feb. 17, 2009, when AETN goes all digital.

If a viewer sees the message, and their television is connected to a cable or satellite service, the viewer needs to contact the cable or satellite service provider directly. They should ask their provider when they intend to begin using AETN's digital signal.

Anyone with questions about how to be ready for the digital transition should call the AETN DTV Helpline, at 1-800-662-2386, on Dec. 18 during business hours, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Additional information, including how to obtain a DTV converter box coupon, is also available online at www.aetn.org/dtv or www.dtv2009.gov.

The Arkansas Educational Television Network ([ http://www.aetn.org ]www.aetn.org) provides lifelong learning opportunities, improves and enhances Arkansans lives and celebrates the unique culture of Arkansas through its programming and services. AETNs digital and analog transmitters and numerous cable system connections give it statewide reach.

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