Telecommunications analyst Jeff Kagan said he expected people to rush to stores to get converters when their signal goes out, and no amount of planning could prevent that.
"People know how to fix their TV sets," he said. "They just haven't gotten around to doing it."
As for TV viewers hooked to cable, satellite or the Internet, it will be just another day. Their service won't be interrupted.
Atlanta TV stations said they're prepared for the inevitable rash of calls from those suddenly without a signal: They've set up phone banks and hotlines, and will be running promos and news coverage of the switch.
In preparation, the federal government distributed 59 million $40 coupons to viewers to purchase TV converter boxes.
The coupons are available until July 31, the FCC said Thursday. There's more information on the Web site www.dtv.gov, or by calling toll-free 1-888-388-2009 (1-888-DTV-2009).