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What is the Digital TV Deadline?

Television as we know it is about to change
Are you ready?

The Digital TV Deadline is Coming Soon! -- Are You Ready?

After June 12, 2009 most U.S. TV broadcasting stations, especially the large stations will stop sending an analog signal to your television.

After June 12, 2009, those stations will start sending TV shows using what is called a digital signal.

Digital TV (DTV) is a newer type of over-the-air broadcasting technology (signal) that enables TV stations to provide dramatically clearer pictures and better sound quality.

Depending on the type of TV you have or whether or not you subscribe to cable or satellite TV, you may be affected.



How Does This Affect Me?

If you watch TV using a roof-top antenna or if you use a a set of "Rabbit Ears" (built-in or purchased separately) you will more than likely be affected.

There is a good chance you will not be able to pick-up a television signal, which means you will not be able to watch TV.  If this describes your TV set-up, then you need to take action before the June 12, 2009 deadline.


What Should I Do?

You have 3 choices:

  1. Buy a analog-to-digital TV converter box. A analog-to-digital converter box will allow you to watch television using your old TV if it does not have a built-in digital tuner. These boxes range in price from $40-$90 and can be purchased from many stores or online.

    Note: To help you pay for the cost of a analog-to-digital TV converter box, you can get a $40 coupon from the U.S. Government. You can get up to 2 coupons to buy 2 analog-to-digital converter boxes.
  2. Buy a new TV that comes with a built-in digital TV tuner. This will allow you to watch TV after the signal changes from analog to digital.

    Please note, you do not have to buy an HDTV.  An HDTV is what is a called High Definition TV, this kind of TV will show a superior picture to standard TV's. However, you do not need an HDTV to watch digital TV.
  3. Subscribe to either a cable or satellite TV service such as Dish Network for satellite or Comcast for cable TV. If you subscribe to cable or satellite they can provide you with a box as part of the service that will act as a analog-to-digital converter.


Why are They Doing This?

The word on the street is that by doing this, the U.S. will free up radio frequencies (signals) that will help us with public safety communications (such as police, fire and emergency rescue), that's what they say...:-).

Analog television service is the old traditional method of transmitting television signals. Analog transmission has been the standard broadcast technology since the creation of television.

Digital TV (DTV) is a newer type of over-the-air broadcasting technology (signal) that enables TV stations to provide dramatically clearer pictures and better sound quality.

Digital TV is better than Analog TV - switching to digital will result in a much better picture and better sound quality when you are watching and listening to TV.


What Happens if I Do Nothing?

If you receive over-the-air television signals through antennas on television sets that are equipped with analog tuners – and you do not subscribe to cable or satellite TV – YOU will be affected by the transition.

Note: Nearly 20 million households receive over-the-air signals exclusively in their homes, and another 15 million households have secondary over-the-air television sets in their bedrooms or kitchens.

Almost 70 million television sets could lose their signals on June 12, 2009, if those consumers do not make the transition to digital TV (DTV).


Learn More About Digital TV

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Okay, you just purchased your new High Definition TV. You get it home, you plug it up and you connect your cable or satellite box to it and turn on the TV and... Hey! The picture on my new HDTV looks the same as my old TV...Why?

Confusion With Transition To Digital TV Technology
With the scheduled June 12, 2009 digital TV deadline for conversion from the old fashioned analog TV signal to the newer and more efficient digital TV signal less than two years away now, there's a fair amount of confusion in the press about the issue...more

Buying an HDTV
Buying an HDTV can seem an intimidating task. There are so may different types on the market, with so many different features and specifications that just knowing where to start can cause headaches.

However, it doesn't need to be painful. By following the five steps below, you can make buying an HDTV easy and even pleasurable – until the credit card bill arrives, of course...more

HDTV: An Advertising Myth De-bunked
Not all TVs which are claimed to be HDTV Ready actually are. So how do you know
whether you're buying an HDTV or a turkey? This article explains how to de-bunk the
most common advertising myth...more

LCD Vs Plasma HDTV
Deciding whether that gorgeous flat screen TV you're going to buy should be LCD or plasma is tricky. On this article we outline the pros and cons of each and help you decide which is right for you...more

720p Vs 1080i HDTV
You may know that 720p and 1080i are both HDTV standards. But what do they mean, and which one is best? We reveal all in this article...more

1080P HDTV
You may have heard the term 1080p referred to when talking about HDTV, but what does it mean. This article removes the mystery...more

HDMI or Component: Which is Best?
HDMI may seem like the best option for connecting HDTV equipment. But this isn't always the case...more

HDTV: An Introduction
HDTV stands for High Definition Television, and if you live in the USA, Australia, or Japan you may already have experienced it. This article explains what HDTV is and how it differs from NTSC or PAL TV...more

Blu-ray: A Primer
Blu-ray is being touted as the successor to DVD, but what exactly is it?