Monday, February 25, 2008

DTV is coming don't panic

What is DTV, it's Digital Television signals vs. our current system which is ATV or Analog Television signals. In case you haven't heard next year on Feb. 17 Analog TV signals in the US will cease to be broadcast. Not a big deal to the many who have cable or dish/satellite TV service, homes with cable or satellite service will not need to do anything. But if you still have an antenna on the roof or in your attic you will need to buy a converter box not a new TV. I repeat you do not need to buy a new TV to pickup DTV signals, ignore your friends or others telling you other wise. Further if you bought a TV in Mar. 2007 or later it is should be DTV capable. If you need a converter box, the converter box is being subsidized by the US Dept. of Commerce. So if you follow the directions at, the Government will send you up to 2 $40 coupons which should bring the final price to around $20 per converter box. Beware you have to use the coupons within 90 days from when they where issued. One other point to note is DTV is not the same as HDTV, HDTV is High Definition TV and in order to view HDTV you will need to get a new HD capable TV.

If your wanting more information on DTV, CNET has done a very good job explaining DTV so check out CNET if you want additional information. I found one very interesting link via the CNET information on DTV related to Antennas which is provided by CEA and NAB. Basically this site will tell you the type of antenna needed based on your street address. What this site does is figure out the distance between your house and the TV stations in your area. It then gives you the location on a compass to point your antenna and what kind of antenna you need to pickup your areas TV stations.

1 comment:

Ray said...

This is something that you can't leave to the guys at Circuit City to help you with. The consumer is going to need to educate themselves. Unfortunately, the people who need the education aren't going to be the ones that use websites or the Internet to research this stuff. That's why the local television stations are running some many "stories" of HDTV and what it means. I think the closer we get to the cut off date the more of those we will see. It's going to be a painful end of the year. Political Ads and DTV is coming stories are going to make my DVR very, very useful.