More help to make "The Big Switch"

By Rebecca Powers - bio | email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - This Friday will be the day we've been telling you about for more than a year now - the day all television stations switch off their analog signals, and go all digital. The FCC mandated the change to leave bandwidth open for increased emergency communications.

If you are a little confused by all this, don't worry. You're not alone.

The deadline for the changeover was originally in February. But it was pushed back to June because of worries that too many people weren't ready. Ray Doss at Best Buy in Gulfport thinks that was a smart decision.

"This is a major change for people. This is something we've never done before, so it's been kind of hard on people," Doss.

Ember Desrosier is one of those people. The mother of five thought her family would have cable back on before the deadline.

"Right now we're out of cable cause my husband lost his job," Desrosier said.

She knows the deadline is right around the corner, so she stopped by Best Buy Monday to get what she needs. She said life without television would be rough.

"I can't have nothing to watch. I've got five kids."

Doss helped Desrosier find the right convertor box and antenna.

"Okay, what you do to hook it up, when you plug it the antenna in, plug the jack into the antenna. You run the other out into the tv where you normally plug your antenna into. When it comes on, you do have to run a scan on it to pick up any channels you can pick up with your antenna," Doss explained.

As part of the stimulus package, the federal government is even paying installers throughout the country to come to your house and help you install the converter box and antenna properly. Three participating installers serving South Mississippi are:

Green Planet - 1-888-508-1115

Installs, Inc. - 1-800-582-4250

R&D Tech Services 1-866-202-4596

To use this service, you must already have a converter box and antenna. Those are two things Ray Doss said people are still coming in for every day.

"Yes, that's been one of our main sellers. On any given day of the week, we probably sell 20 or 30," Doss said.

For much more information on "The Big Switch," including videos showing just how to set up your convertor box and antenna, visit

©2009 WLOX. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.