5.30.2008

HDTV - What is it? Why change?


As some of you may already know, the Federal Government decided that all of the TV stations in the United States must switch to digital broadcasting on February 17, 2009. This may not seem like a big deal, but its a REALLY big deal. It means that your tried and true TV and antenna won't work anymore unless you upgrade or convert. In this post, I will try to explain what you need to do upgrade so you can continue to enjoy your free over the air broadcasts. If you have cable TV or satellite, or some other form of TV service other than over the air broadcasting, you have nothing to worry about. You are safe.

What is HDTV?
High Definition Television. It means all of your TV picture will be digital, much like viewing a picture on your computer. The digital TV pictures are much brighter, vibrant, and better quality.

If you use a regular TV set, and you haven't updated to a digital TV set, you will need to buy a digital converter.

What is a digital TV set and what is a digital converter?
A digital TV set is a TV that can produce digital images. If you haven't bought a new Plasma or LCD TV, chances are that you don't have a digital TV. You don't have to buy a brand new TV, but you will need to buy a digital converter. The government is giving out coupons you can use to pay for most of the cost of buying a digital converter. You can apply for the coupon here.

Will my regular TV antenna work after the digital converter is hooked up to my TV?
No. You will have to purchase a new TV antenna that picks up a large range of UHF signals. Right now, most antenna's people use to watch tv won't pick up the frequency that is needed to watch all of the channels that will be available. Your old tv antenna won't be able to pick up any of the broadcasts after February 2009.

What kind of antenna should I buy?
Research the type of antenna you need. Almost all of the indoor HDTV antenna's being sold in electronics stores are junk because they are made for people who live very close to broadcasting stations. You will most likely need to buy a large rooftop antenna or something similar. Use this website to research the type and size of the antenna you will need.

Why is the Federal Gov't making stations change to digital broadcasts?
To put it frankly, they wanted to take control and possession of the frequency's that were being used to broadcast television. By forcing stations to give up the VHF signals and move over to the UHF band, they gained a lot of free airspace to sell to companies.

Good Luck! Email me if you have any more questions or concerns.

1 comment:

Eddie the Girl said...

holy cow you write about the things every normal person should know wbout but is too lazy to find out about.