Monday, November 12, 2007

Ten Things you need to know about Digital TV

There is a lot of misinformation about Digital TV and what the new system means to the average viewer. While I have covered these things in past post here is a summary. Print it and take it with you when you shop.

1. On February 17, 2009, all analog TV broadcast channels (e.g. locally in Cincinnati, CET, WCPO, WLWT, WKRC, WXIX, etc.) in the United States will cease operation. The stations and programs will still exist, but on new digital channels.

2. The US, like the rest of the world, is converting to an all digital system that enhances the quality of the picture and sound and makes a much more efficient use of the scarce electromagnetic spectrum (i. e. available TV channels.)

3. Eventually you will have to buy a new digital TV since analog sets are no longer manufactured, but will be able watch most of your favorite programs on your old analog set.

4. There are ways to use your old set after February 2009. 1. You can get an inexpensive digital converter that will capture the digital signals off-the-air and convert them to signals your old (analog) TV can display. 2. You can pay for a cable or satellite service. The cable and satellite set top boxes already convert digital signals to analog signals.

5. If you keep your old TV and use a converter, cable or satellite you will not enjoy the vastly superior picture and sound of High Definition TV nor will you have a wide movie-like screen.

6. Your VCR and DVD player will still work with your old analog TV as will the tapes and DVDs that you now have. You will be able to connect your current VCR and DVD player to most new digital TV sets, but they will not give you a HD experience.

7. TV stations will continue BROADCASTING through the air, and using an antenna you will still be able to get local stations on a digital TV without cable or satellite.

8. The new digital TVs come in many sizes. The sharpness of the picture is a product of screen size and resolution. TV’s are available in CRT (picture tube), LCD, and plasma and DLP. Shop with your eyes.

9. Digital over-the-air channels may provide more than one program at the same time. For example, CET’s digital channel has both High Definition Programs and a separate CET World Channel.

10. The prices of new digital sets are becoming comparable to the old analog sets. Be sure your new set has an ATSC (digital) tuner!

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