Today's DTV transition: Good luck reaching the help line

At 12:01 a.m., channels 7, 9 and 20 made the transition from analog to digital broadcasting -- a switchover that may well result in thousands of people losing free, over-the-air TV either because they paid no attention to the months upon months of on-screen warnings about the impending change, or because they happen to live in an area that analog reached but digital won't. For more on people in the latter category, check out the January Message column headlined "The Digital Conversion Will Leave Some Coloradans in the Dark."

So... how's it going so far? I decided to find out by calling 303-698-0999, the DTV-assistance number on the home page of 9News, which is also the sister station of Channel 20. But at this writing, I've been unable to get through. I've dialed the number somewhere between twenty and thirty times, getting a busy signal on the vast majority of occasions -- and in the two or three instances when I was actually gifted with a connection, the call rang endlessly without a person picking up or a calling tree clicking on. And phoning Channel 7 isn't an option yet. According to this page on the station's site, its help line won't be staffed until 9 a.m.

That's a lot of help...

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