In Wake of Digital TV Transition, LG Electronics Continues to Help Consumers Through Call Center, How-to Web Sites and Zenith Converter Donations
WASHINGTON, July 20 /PRNewswire/ – Although the official transition to all-digital full-power TV broadcasting is now behind us, LG Electronics continues to offer resources for consumers who have questions and concerns about the switchover to digital TV.
LG’s Zenith-brand converter box hotline received more than 20,000 calls in June alone, and the company has vowed to keep the hotline and its ConnectYourBox.com and ConecteSuConvertidor.com Web sites live through the end of the year.
LG Electronics also is making final donations of Zenith digital-to-analog TV converter boxes available to the New Mexico Media Literacy Project in Albuquerque, completing an ambitious donation program dedicated to raising awareness of the digital transition and supplying hundreds of boxes to consumers most in need. Over the past year, LG donated Zenith converter boxes to community organizations in Albuquerque, Houston, Dallas, Denver, Little Rock, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, St. Louis, and Wilmington, N.C.
Leadership Role in Digital TV Transition
Since the introduction of its first Zenith converter box in January 2008, LG has taken a leadership role in the digital TV transition, providing ongoing tips and advice on how to hook up and use a digital TV converter box.
More than 88,000 calls were answered by Zenith’s customer service hotline (1-877-9ZENITH) in the first six months of 2009, with more than a quarter of those calls occurring in January (a month before the original February 17 deadline.) A second spike occurred around the final June 12 transition date, with most consumers inquiring about antenna/signal reception issues or missing channels. Fewer than 10 percent of the calls were about hook-up problems and, in the last three months, only a tiny fraction of callers – less than one half of one percent — reported problems that required a repair.
Over the past year, LG played a founding role in the multi-industry Digital TV Transition Coalition and aggressively supported the federal government’s efforts to encourage consumers to prepare for the transition. Other key accomplishments include:
- Addition of analog pass-through capability in Zenith converter boxes to ensure easy reception of local, low-power TV stations, thousands of which are still broadcasting with analog TV signals.
- Inclusion of closed-captioning and Second Audio Program capability in Zenith converter boxes, a move that won praise from leading disability advocates.
- Energy efficiency leadership, with the Zenith DTT901 converter box listed as the most efficient converter box certified for the U.S. Department of Commerce’s discount coupon program.
- Creation of the ConnectYourBox.com Web site and its Spanish counterpart to help consumers connect their converter boxes to television sets and old VCRs.
“We’re proud that LG Electronics shipped millions of digital converter boxes during the nation’s transition to digital TV broadcasting, breathing new life into old analog TVs and keeping them out of landfills,” said Richard Lewis, Senior Vice President for LG’s Zenith subsidiary. “The Zenith DTT901 was among the first converters to offer analog pass-through capability, which remains an important feature for viewers who watch analog broadcasts from the thousands of smaller low-power TV stations that have yet to changeover to digital.
“We’re also pleased to announce that our educational Web sites–ConnectYourBox.com and its Spanish-language counterpart, ConecteSuConvertidor.com–will remain operational for the balance of 2009, ensuring that all viewers have an easy-to-understand resource for connecting and operating a converter box,” Lewis added.
Hispanic and UHF Viewers Benefit from Zenith Donations
For its final round of converter-box giveaways, LG is donating lightly-used Zenith converters to the New Mexico Media Literacy Project in Albuquerque. The boxes, which were used by representatives of the U.S. Department of Commerce for public demonstrations, have been refurbished and repackaged by Noble of Indiana, an organization that provides employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
“New Mexico was the state least prepared for the digital transition, and we are very pleased to receive the Zenith converter boxes,” said Andrea Quijada, Executive Director of the New Mexico Media Literacy Project. “We’ve been working hard to provide information and technical assistance–including free DTV converter boxes–to residents from our low-income, non-English-speaking, and elderly communities.”
Four dozen Zenith “Silver Sensor” UHF antennas were donated in support of a community effort to ensure digital TV reception in St. Louis, the largest TV market entirely served by Ultra High Frequency (UHF) signals from full-power digital TV broadcasters (meaning that all TV channels in UHF-only markets are located on Channel 13 or higher.)
“We sincerely appreciate the donation of Zenith UHF antennas to help St. Louis viewers who may be having trouble receiving the new digital signals,” said KNLC-DT Project Coordinator and Technical Consultant Jim Barnes. “KNLC-DT and KMOV-DT partnered to work diligently in the ‘No Viewer Left Behind’ joint project to provide nearly 1,000 converter boxes to low income residents, senior citizens, the infirm, handicapped, or those unable to get out to stores to obtain boxes or antennas.”
SOURCE Zenith; LG