General Question

Michael's avatar

What do I need to do to prepare for the transition to digitial TV?

Asked by Michael (2685points) December 23rd, 2007

I know that soon all TV broadcasting will have to be in digital. What do I need to do? Do I need a new TV? Can I get a converter? Does it have to be HD? Can I do nothing?

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3 Answers

MrKnowItAll's avatar

If you are on cable, you will probably need to do nothing. All new tv’s are required to have a digital tuner. For older tv’s, you will supposedly be able to get a coupon from ‘the gov’ment’ to use towards a digital to analog converter box. Personally, I’d advise doing nothing, and see if they really make the deadline to turn off analog tv (Feb, 2009).

jonno's avatar

If you get a new digital-ready TV, it should be ready to receive digital channels out of the box.

If you want to keep your current TV, all you need is a digital set-top box – which shouldn’t cost any more than $100 at most. Just plug the cable from your antenna into the set top box (instead of the TV), and the cable from the set-top box into the back of the TV. You don’t need to upgrade your antenna, the antenna that you used for analogue television will be just as good.

You will probably need to tune in the channels into the set-top box. From now on instead of changing channels using the TV’s controls or remote control, you set the TV to AV mode and use the set-top box’s remote control to change channels, etc.

I’ve upgraded and digital TV is definitely worth it, with programme guides, a much better quality picture, and the best thing – extra channels. As for HD TV, the benefits are the same as digital TV, plus the picture is even better and there are even more extra channels than digital TV.

If you want to receive HD TV, you can just follow the instructions above, except with a HD set top box. Your TV does not have to be HD in order to receive HD TV (so you will get the HD-only channels), but the picture will NOT be HD. To get HD pictures, you will need a HD TV (some HD TV’s will come without a tuner, so you will still need the HD set top box).

elahnz's avatar

Best to get a bloodtest, eat healthy food, stock up on tinned tuna and breathe slowly.

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