The DTV Conversion happened in June 2009. New technology is probably not the strong suit for many of the senior citizens in our lives, so it’s up to us to make sure the seniors in our life are ready.
Once you have taken care of getting the converter boxes that they need, you’ll most likely need to help them with the installation.
Print this instruction guide that is provided by the FCC (Federal Communications Commission.
Plan on spending some more money for an upgraded antenna to get the new digital signals clearly. There is a great way to test whether your TV will need it, go to
and you will be able to enter the address of your senior parent's house. There is a system that can check for the type of antenna that you will need to complete the DTV conversion. Lot's more questions and answers about antennas are available at the same site.
If you don’t live close enough to your elderly parents to be helpful in this DTV conversion, make arrangements with a neighbor that lives near them, or with a younger relative that loves techie stuff!
You may even make a call to your parent’s church or religious community and find out if this is a service they would be willing to offer seniors in the area. Some
churches are already organized
to do this. You can find resources from the US Government to organize your congregation or youth group to
help seniors in the community
in the DTV transition.
Installations can be completed rather easily, but it will be need to be tested.
Then if there are still reception problems, a
Trouble Shooting Guide
can be used if there are still problems with reception.
You’ll also need to check and make sure that all the old and new equipment works together. For instance, you’ll need to make sure older VCR’s are connected with the new equipment properly. If your parent wants to be able to record one channel while watching another, the VCR will need it's own converter box. Here are some
FAQ's that may be helpful
Now that the DTV conversion equipment is set up and working properly, you may be tempted to head out the door. But your work is not finished yet. Remember the reason you are there in the first place, senior citizens often adapt to new technology very slowly. So, take the time to make sure they know how to work all this new equipment and are comfortable with it!
AND if there is a new remote, draw a picture of the buttons and write out the instructions they will need. Be explicit about everything: How to turn it on and off; How to record a show in this new set-up. My folks have had a VCR for years and still can't record a show without referring to my written instructions!
After all this, you will know that your efforts will be greatly appreciated when your aging parents or senior friends can watch their favorite shows uninterrupted.