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      DTV: Don't wait to make changes

      The traditional analog tv channels don't go off the air until February 17, but the advice from tv stations: don't wait!The switchboard at WSTM/CW6 is getting 20+ calls a day with people asking for information. Receptionists answer the basic questions---if you have cable or satellite tv on ALL your sets, you're all set---but the more complicated questions, both phoned and emailed in, go to our technical staff. It's the same arrangement at other Syracuse-area stations: John Duffy, WCNY's Vice President of Technology and Operations, says 'it's not an easy process,' and 'it's just so confusing for our viewers, our customers.' The suggestion: get the converter box coupons first. They're available by phone or computer, but we suggest computer because there's no tracking process by phone. The address is The coupons expire so don't delay in getting the box, once you get them. "I'm sure there's gonna be a rush," says Duffy. Besides delays in sending out the coupons, he also expects stores will run out of the boxes as we get closer to the deadline. Duffy also suggests taking incremental steps: stores are urging people to buy extras, like antennas, splitters, and even surge protectors---start with the basics, and if they don't work, you can always add on. Rabbit ears don't work, but the old, round UHF antennas do---if those don't do the job, you can buy more sophisticated models. For more help, you can also contact us at on the dtv tab. Or, call us at 477-9400. But, don't wait.