Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

40 Days To Armageddon

(Or, Are You Ready For The Digital Switch?)

In just a few short weeks the world will come to an end, and life as we know it will cease to be.

Of course, what I’m referring to the upcoming digital TV transition.
Congress mandated that February 17, 2009 would be the last day for full-power television stations to broadcast in analog. Broadcast stations in all U.S. markets are currently broadcasting in both analog and digital. After February 17, 2009, full-power television stations will broadcast in digital only.old_tv_set

What do I need to do to be ready for the end of analog TV broadcasting?

If you have one or more televisions that receive free over-the-air television programming (with a roof-top antenna or “rabbit ears” on the TV), the type of TV you own is very important. A digital television (a TV with an internal digital tuner) will allow you to continue to watch free over-the-air programming after February 17, 2009.

However, if you have an analog television, you will need a digital-to-analog converter box to continue to watch broadcast television on that set. This converter box will also enable you to see any additional multicast programming that your local stations are offering.

Analog sets should continue to work as before if connected to a subscription service such as cable or satellite TV. Also, analog sets should continue to work with gaming consoles, VCRs, DVD players, and similar products that you use now.

Will I need a special antenna to receive DTV over-the-air?

In general, dependable reception of over-the-air digital TV programming will require the same type of signal reception equipment that currently works to provide good quality reception of analog TV programming. If you need a roof-top antenna to receive analog TV broadcasts, the same antenna generally will work to receive digital TV broadcasts. You should not have to purchase new antennas that are marketed as “digital ready” or “HD ready.”

What is the Converter Box Coupon Program?

To help consumers with the DTV transition, the Government established the Digital-to-Analog Converter Box Coupon Program. Every U.S. household is eligible to receive up to two coupons, worth $40 each, toward the purchase of eligible digital-to-analog converter boxes.

The coupons may only be used for eligible converter boxes sold at participating consumer electronics retailers, and the coupons must be used at the time of purchase. (Please note that these coupons will expire 90 days after mailing). Manufacturers estimate that digital-to-analog converter boxes will sell from $40 to $70 each. This is a one-time cost. For more information on the Digital-to-Analog Converter Box Coupon Program, visit www.dtv2009.gov, or call 1-888-388-2009 (voice) or 1-877-530-2634 (TTY).
[note: the coupon program’s funding has already been reached, and if you’re just acting now, you’ll be put on a first-come-first-served waiting list which may, or may not get you a coupon.. depends on how many coupons are cashed/expire.]

Today’s free link: The place to get answers to all your questions about the digital transition (in fact, the info above was largely copy > paste from there) is the special website provided by the Federal Communication Commission, http://www.dtv.gov/consumercorner.html

Copyright 2007-9 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved. post to jaanix

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January 8, 2009 - Posted by | advice, HDTV, how to, News, shopping for, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

4 Comments »

  1. […] unknown wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptHowever, if you have an analog television, you will need a digital-to-analog converter box to continue to watch broadcast television on that set. This converter box will also enable you to see any additional multicast programming that … […]

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    Pingback by 40 Days To Armageddon « Tech–for Everyone | January 8, 2009 | Reply

  2. TechPaul,

    Very good article… Pushing it forward to some folks I know that are not on any subscribing service such as cable. I also may clip this to my blog to drive traffic in your direction. Again, good info that people need to know!

    Rick

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    Comment by Rick | January 8, 2009 | Reply

    • I think they main thing I wanted to say (as there are salespeople saying quite the opposite) is that you DO need some kind of converter, and you DON’T need a new antenna.

      Thanks.

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      Comment by techpaul | January 8, 2009 | Reply

  3. […] help you sort this out, I encourage you to visit the web site below (Tech-for Everyone) to get a better understanding (in easy terms) of what you may or may not need to do.  There has […]

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    Pingback by (DTV) Digital Television Transition – Will my TV reception be affected? « What’s On My PC | January 10, 2009 | Reply


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