Today, June 12, 2009 @12:30pm EST broadcast television goes digital. So, if you haven’t been paying attention you need to read this now.
If you subscribe to a cable service such as CableVision, Time Warner or a satellite service like the Dish Network, DirecTV or to whatever the available paid TV subscription service is in your area then you are covered and don’t have to read any further.
For the rest of you reading this there are two choices available to you. One is to finally get a cable or satellite TV subscription pronto. Check your local listings, phone directory or even your ISP for what’s available in your area and the best prices. The other choice is to get out to your local electronics store like a Best Buy, Radio Shack, etc and get a digital converter box.
What this box will do is convert (change) the digital signal to an analog signal for viewing on an analog TV.
How do you know you have an analog TV? Simply put, you still use a run of the mill antenna to get a signal. Don’t get caught out there. Having a flat panel TV be it LCD, Plasma or rear projection doesn’t mean your watching digital TV or even receiving a digital signal. You must have a digital tuner/receiver either inside your TV, inside your video recorder or receive a digital signal through some type of paid TV subscription service.
Still not sure or just don’t believe me. Well, another way to tell is by looking at your TV/Monitor or the manual that came with it and check for “ATSC tuner/receiver built-in” or something similar stating there is a digital tuner inside. This may also appear on your digital video recorder (DVR) which would also allow for the viewing of digital broadcasts.
Why must you to this? Because by law all major television networks must broadcast exclusively using a digital signal. So only a few if any will still be allowed to broadcast over analog. All of the major networks such as ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, WOR, PIX, etc. will stop broadcasting an over the analog frequency entirely. So if you still want to see your regular local stations you must get a digital converter or a TV with a digital tuner built-in.
Tip: If you still want to get analog signals along with digital signals with out subscribing to a paid service then make sure you get a TV or digital convert box containing both ATSC and NTSC tuners built-in.
For even further information go to: DTV Answers
For the more tech savvy among us, there are other ways to get your TV fix on and best of all some of them are free. Check these out to see if they will fit your needs and if these are not enough a simple Google search can yield more alternatives. Here’s my short list of alternatives to a paid subscriber service: