The Transition is Coming

January 5, 2009

As you may know, American television will switch to digital-only broadcasts on February 17.  Library members are very interested in the transition and have many questions. Please become familiar with the topics on these sites. Make sure everyone at your library will able to point your visitors in the right direction.  tvimage-tvset

Keep in Mind

  • For specific technical problems with digital equipment, TVs, and accessories, contact the manufacturer. 
  • If a consumer uses an antenna now, they will still need an antenna after the switch. All new televisions have digital tuners, but still require an antenna to pick up the signal. 
  • Cable sets are not affected by the DTV transition. The ongoing transition of cable networks to digital is not associated with the February 17 deadline. Analog cable subscribers do not have to switch to digital cable at this time. 

Web sites covering the transition

  • Get Ready for Digital TV (PBS)
    Watch This Old House episode – it covers several different transition scenarios at homes in Boston, including converter box and satellite setups. The program will also be re-aired several times on Nashville Public Television, WNPT.
  • The Digital TV Transition  (FCC)
    Site contains a directory of documentation for setting up digital TVs and converter boxes. Consumer Corner’s extensive FAQ covers many transition issues. Shopper’s Guide will familiarize you with the technical specs for buying new equipment.
  • TV Converter Box Coupon Program  (NTIA)
    Apply for up to two $40 coupons toward the digital converter boxes. The converter boxes will be required for older TVs using “rabbit ears” or roof-top antenna to pick up a signal. 
  • Coupon Eligible Converter Boxes 
  • Which (nearly) free DTV converter box should I buy?
    CNet guide to the best Converter boxes on the market.
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