Saturday, January 26, 2008

Digital TV (DTV) One Year Away

In one year, when the nation cans analog TV broadcasts in exchange for digital signals, you'll need a digital TV, digital subscriber service or a digital converter to stay tuned.

by Broderick Perkins
© 2008 DeadlineNews.Com

Deadline Newsroom - If you are still climbing a ladder to adjust your rooftop TV antennae or leaving the couch to reposition those "rabbit ears," your TV will go dark in another year.

To stay tuned with your current equipment, you'll have to get a digital converter to dumb-down the signal for your low-tech TV.

Otherwise all channels will be full of "snow" and white noise.
Luckily, free $40 coupons, two per household, are now available from the federal government to help you defray the $50 to $70 cost of a converter. Converters will be available from electronics retailers and other merchants.

Beginning Feb. 18, 2009, analog TV signals makes way for digital TV (DTV) signals. Congress ordered the transition to digital broadcasting to make more efficient use of the publicly owned airwaves.

You do have some other options in addition to the digital-to-analog converter, which, again, is only necessary to get the digital signal over-the-air via an antennae to your analog TV.

• You will not need the converter if you own a digital TV, even if you get over-the-air antennae signals. The digital TV converts the signal with it's built in digital tuner.

• You will not need the converter if you subscribe to a cable or satellite service, even if you have an analog TV. Your service converts the signal for you.

• The transition does not require you to buy a high definition TV (HDTV), unless you want to take advantage of a high definition video image.

• The transition is from analog to digital, which only requires that your TV has a digital tuner, your service provides digital tuning or that you get a converter for over-the-air digital reception.

• Digital TVs that are not HDTV are priced comparable with the newest analog TVs.
• You can watch HDTV programming with a digital TV, with a digital service or with a digital converter, you just won't get the full HDTV image quality.

Since March 2007, all TV reception devices -- including video cassette recorders (VCRs) and digital video players and recorders (DVRs) -- must be clearly marked as analog, digital or HDTV.

Also, analog products must displayed with or near a consumer alert label that designates it as analog, while disclosing what is necessary to use it with the digital signal.

The coupons for digital converters are offered, along with more information, from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.

You can also call the 24-hour federal hotline at 1-888-DTV-2009 (1-888-388-2009) to sign up for the $40 coupons and to get more information.

Another federal web site, the Federal Trade Commission's "Countdown To DTV Transition" also offers digital conversion information.

• See DeadlineNews.Com's Appliances and Technology Section.
• See DeadlineNews.Com's Home Technology Section.
• See DeadlineNews.Com's Virtual Real Estate Section.

Advertise on DeadlineNews.Com

© 2008 DeadlineNews.Com

Broderick Perkins, an award-winning consumer journalist of 30 years, is publisher and executive editor of San Jose, CA-based DeadlineNews.Com, a real estate news and consulting service, and the new Deadline Newsroom, DeadlineNews.Com's new backshop. In both cases, it's where all the news really hits home.

DeadlineNews.Com's Editorial Content Is Intellectual Property • Unauthorized Use Is A Federal Crime

No comments: