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Troubleshooting FAQs

Why am I not receiving a picture from PBS Hawaii?

PBS Hawaii’s transmission network is very complex and often subject to unknown or unforeseeable circumstances that may negatively affect the signal delivered to your home. If you experience a problem receiving any of our programs please call 808-973-1187.

To better help us “troubleshoot” the problem, please be sure to have the following information on hand:
  • How you receive our signal (via cable or antenna);
  • Your location;
  • What channel you receive PBS Hawaii on, and:
  • What are the symptoms you are experiencing.
If you have cable, you may need to contact your cable provider and/or check the cable connection to your television.
If you would like to report a problem after hours please call 808-945-1075.

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An extra voice is describing everything that happens on the programs. What is it and how do I make it stop?

The voice providing the descriptions of the action on TV programs is called DVS (Descriptive Video Service). This service enables viewers who are visually impaired to enjoy PBS programming and is embedded into many of our children’s and prime time programming.

If you are experiencing this service and would like to have it stopped, you need to go to the Secondary Audio Program or SAP function that is on your television set, VHS and/or DVR. Go to the menu screen of any or all of the above devices and switch the option to Off or Stereo. This feature may also be accessible from the remote control button marked with a musical note, or the word “audio”.

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Why is the background music so loud in some of your programs? It's often louder than the actors speaking.

The majority of PBS programs are produced in stereo. When programs that are produced in stereo are put through an audio processor such as those found on most newer television sets and on many home theatre sound systems, the audio may sound hollow or the background music and noise will be louder than the dialog. To correct this problem, go to your television’s audio menu screen and turn off the "surround sound" (sometimes known as "enhanced") feature off. This feature may also be accessible from the remote control button marked with a musical note, or the word “audio”.

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What is happening with PBS Hawaii and Digital TV?

Congressional legislation has mandated that all broadcasters transition from traditional analog TV to a new type of broadcasting technology known as Digital Television or DTV.

By February 17, 2009, all broadcast stations will be required to convert to digital broadcasting and will no longer be allowed to broadcast an analog signal. To take full advantage of this mandated transition, PBS Hawaii will be replacing analog technology that has been in use for more than half a century with digital technology. Analog broadcasting will continue until the end of the transition period, which currently is set for February 19, 2009. PBS Hawaii will continue to broadcast both analog and digital signals until then.

As a result of this mandated conversion, all viewers will need to make changes in some or all of the television equipment they currently use to receive TV programming.

In 2005, PBS Hawaii began operating a state-of-the-art, all digital, “high definition capable” master control system. This conversion to digital will allow PBS Hawaii to broadcast free programming streams on not just one, but multiple channels. Broadcasting multiple channels gives viewers access to our high definition channel and the ability to broadcast another channel with our popular how-to shows, simultaneously...

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Will I need a new TV?

It depends, but if you own an analog TV and rely on an antenna to receive PBS Hawaii, you will need to either purchase a television with a digital tuner or a set-top converter box to view our station after February 19, 2009. A converter box will receive DTV signals and change them into an analog format that your current analog TV can display. Until then, your current TV will still receive PBS Hawaii’s analog signal.

If you purchased a TV before 1998, it will certainly require the addition of a converter box to receive and display DTV signals. If you need to purchase a television now, it would be wise to invest in a set that can display both analog and digital signals (i.e. the TV contains both an analog tuner and a digital tuner).

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I subscribe to cable or satellite. Do I need to be concerned about the transition from analog to digital broadcasts?

You probably will not notice much of a change for those TVs hooked up to your cable or satellite services. We are currently working with Time Warner Oceanic Cable to have all of our digital signals carried by their state-wide system, but if you wish to view programs in high-definition, you will need to purchase a high-definition monitor to hook-up to the component outputs of the cable/satellite box.

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Where can I find more information about DTV transition?

For more information visit:

PBS Digital Television

Digital Television (DTV) Tomorrow’s TV Today on the FCC website

National Association of Broadcasters website

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