Wednesday, April 4, 2007

2/17/2009, Why Is This Date Important To You...The Viewer?

2/17/2009 is the government mandated date television broadcasters stop sending an analog signal. They will continue to provide over-the-air broadcasts (and signals to cable & satellite), just in a digital format. Fact is, most broadcasters (including WWNY since 2002) have been broadcasting digitally along with their traditional analog signal.

After 2/17/09 in order to continue to receive programming you must have invested in a digital television set with a built-in "integrated" digital tuner, a digital settop box that receives the digital signal and downconverts it to an analog format for displayed on your standard (analog) TV, or subscribe to a cable or satellite service* whose box will downconvert the digital signal for a standard TV. A Digital TV could be a set capable of displaying high-definition pictures (HDTV) or a lower cost SDTV (standard-definition television set), but to receive the signal it will need an integrated digital tuner or be connected to a settop box described above. All television sets manufactured since March of this year are required to have an integrated digital tuner. Some DTV sets sold prior to that date do not, and require a settop box.

If you are an off-air viewer, a rooftop antenna is still your best bet for reception, but a set of rabbit-ears may work. One of the best features of DTV is that the signal you receive will be noise and ghost free...DVD quality pictures and sound.

Digital broadcasting offers other features, like multicasting (multiple program feeds on a single channel), a digital program guide, and some programs in HDTV. We will explore those features in another post.

*Currently none of the satellite providers in our area offer local stations on their system. We are hoping this changes by 2009.

2 comments:

Ron from Kenosha said...

Great job Jim. Very clear and easy to understand. I look forward to more instruction as we get closer to 2/09.

Armil@cable providers by zip code said...

I think I am totally agree with this one laughing "If you are an off-air viewer, a rooftop antenna is still your best bet for reception, but a set of rabbit-ears may work." Thanks for sharing it with us.