Change is Coming for TV Viewers

By: Taylor Vinson Email
By: Taylor Vinson Email

In just sixteen months, the TV set you're watching right now may be obsolete.

In 2009, all television broadcasting in the U.S. will go from magnetic waves to bits and bytes.

We talked to some TV viewers to see if they knew about the upcoming change.

"Yeah, we know that," one resident said.

"I did not," another admitted.

"I just heard it on and off for a while," one person said.

"No, I didn't know that," another resident assured.

Know it or not, change is coming to a TV set near you.

The shrinking supply of those old analog TV's in favor of newer, high-definition televisions is no accident.

The Federal Communications Commission is mandating that all on-air broadcasts move into the digital age after February 17, 2009--meaning higher picture quality and more channels.

"Basically what's going to happen is that broadcasters are going to turn off their analog signal, and they're going to be broadcasting a straight-digital signal," explained Eric Mayhugh, an H.H. Greg sales representative.

As for those who will still have those older TV's with old antennas?

"If you do not have a digital television, you will no longer be able to receive off-air broadcasts or broadcasts through an antenna," Mayhugh added.

So it's actually pretty simple. Starting in 2009, to receive local on-air broadcasts with an old analog TV, you'll have to buy a digital converter box.

If you're in a hurry to be prepared, you might consider a VCR/DVD player combo that comes equipped with a digital tuner, because according to Mayhugh, converter boxes won't be widely available for a while.

"Probably the middle of next year," Mayhugh admitted.

Of course, you could always go out and buy all high-definition televisions for your home.

"We've talked about, recently, purchasing another TV, so, we'll just probably have to wait and do that," one local resident assured.

The FCC says people who get local channels from a cable or satellite provider won't have to worry about the transition.

The government is also offering a coupon program for converter boxes.

To learn more about the TV signal switch, click here.

More information can be found here.


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