General Question

Cardinal's avatar

What do I need to know about the February 19, 2009 switch to DTV?

Asked by Cardinal (2916points) January 23rd, 2008

I understand that when the new type of TV programing comes out the old TV sets will not be able to receive a clear signal. Is this basically correct? I have a newish set that woks just fine. How can one determine if the exsisting TV sets are the type that will accept the new technology signal? What the heck are people going to do with perfectly good sets that will no longer receive a clear signal, or am I just mistaken about the changing technology?

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4 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Yes, basically correct. Read the articles on the new technologies. People w. antennae will either buy converters (and hire geeks to install them) or deep-six the CRT TVs and buy new HD’s, cable or dishes. I may simply stop watching.

J3's avatar

It’s not that older TVs won’t be able to get a clear signal. It’s that the signal is completely changing and older TVs don’t know how to process it. However, those older TVs will not become obsolete.

If you get your programming over the air: You will be able buy a converter box for about $50 that will attach to your older TV. Your regular old antenna will then be attached to this box. You will then use the converter box to change channels on your TV. It won’t be HD, but it will allow you to watch all the over the air TV channels you got before, along with any new new sub-channels your local networks have.

If you get your programming from cable or satellite: If you use a box from the cable/satellite company to tune channels you should have no changes to your viewing habits as the cable or satellite company already process all the channels for you. Otherwise you might be required to get a cable box.

Older TVs will continue to work with any equipment you currently have such as video games, DVD players, VCRs, etc.

The easiest way to determine if your TV is digital ready or not if you don’t really know what you’re looking for is to look at your TVs remote control. Along with the numbers 0–9 is there a button for a dash or a decimal? If so you probably have a digital TV as digital sub-channels are usually entered as “12–1” or “12.1” for example. If there is no dash or a decimal you probably do not have a digital TV.

jonno's avatar

If your TV isn’t digital, you can still watch digital TV with a set-top box. Just plug the antenna cable into the box and plug the box into your TV. From then on you can watch digital TV by putting the TV on AV mode and changing channels through the set-top box (the TV’s own channels won’t work anymore).

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