More on the DTV transition. Does it affect you? Look around your home at every component, every TV, VCR, DVR, etc. Where does the TV broadcast come from? Does it come from cable TV? Satellite? Or is any device connected to an antenna? If you use an antenna for any device, and it is a traditional analog device (that is, it’s not an HDTV or new HD device with a built in “ATSC” tuner)–if you change the channels on that device (i.e. you’re not using a cable box)…then you will be affected. For the rest of us cable and satellite users, you’ll hardly notice the February 17th 2009 date, other than your picture might be marginally better.
When they turn off the analog broadcasts, it will be replaced by digital broadcasts. An analog tuner can only pick up analog broadcasts, so a traditional analog TV, VCR, etc. needs an “ATSC” tuner that can pick up the digital signals and convert them to analog for the TV or device to use and display.
In January of 2008, you will start noticing more information about this. The government is planning a huge snail mail and media campaign. You will be notified that coupons will be available to substantially reduce the cost of digital TV converter boxes. IF YOU HAVE ANY TVs OR OTHER TRADITIONAL DEVICES THAT ARE HOOKED UP TO AN ANTENNA–YOU WILL WANT TO GET A VOUCHER AS SOON AS THEY COME OUT. There will be a second wave of coupons (or vouchers) available later, but there will be limitations on getting the second wave of coupons.
Another thing about the coupons…you may request them, yet not receive them for some time. This is because the coupons will only be good for 90 days from receipt in the mail, then they’ll expire and you’ll have to try for the second wave or pay full price for the converter box. So, pay attention and get one when they come out. To find out more check out the dtv transition links to the right of this or check out this great Associated Press video
Also, I want to comment on Bob’s comment. He is absolutely correct. In the early days talking about the digital transition the channels were broadcast on the UHF channels and there has been a change so that your local channel 7 will remain at the channel 7 VHF frequency. So, thanks Bob.
I haven’t had a chance to get on and write as I have been doing a lot of industry writing and I am updating my book “The Home Electronics Survival Guide.” The new book will be more about Home Theater and should be easier to read as I’ve learned a lot from my readers in the past year or so.