Are You Ready For The DTV Switch?

Friday, November 7th 2008, 6:12 pm
By: News On 6

By Dan Bewley and Terry Hood, The News On 6

UNDATED -- It is three months and counting until the digital changeover for television broadcasts.  Beginning on February 18th all TV programs will be transmitted digitally instead of the traditional analog.

Some are wondering if they are ready for the switch.

For nearly 70 years, television signals have been broadcast in an analog format.  It all comes to an end on February 17th of next year.  After that, all television broadcasts will be sent digitally.

To give you an example of the change in technology, it's like going from listening to music on a turntable to listening to it on a CD.  They are two very different formats that don't even come close to working together.

So when the change happens, how do you know if you'll still be able to watch TV?

First off, if you subscribe to cable or if you have a satellite dish, you'll be okay and won't need to do anything.  But, if you watch TV using rabbit ears or through an antenna on top of your home, you'll probably need to buy a converter box that can receive the digital signal and connect it to your TV.

But, that depends on whether you have a digital television.  If you bought your television set before 2004, it's probably not digital and you will need the converter box.  If you bought it between 2004 and 2007, there's a good chance it's digital, but you should check your owner's manual and look for phrases like digital tuner or digital receiver.

If you bought your television within the last year, it's most certainly digital and you will not need the converter box.  Again, this is only if you use an antenna.

As the countdown continues to the next stage in television broadcasting it's important to be prepared or your TV will be lost in the dark.

Click here for more information on DTV.