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R.i.p. Analog Tv

So? Anyone have issues with the DTV switch? I think it actually went pretty well when the June 12 date came and went.

Remember, if you currently subscribe to cable, satellite or IPTV (i.e. AT&T U-verse), you should be good to go. You’re probably already getting digital signals through your cable or satellite box. The TV you are using now will continue to work the way it always has.

But if you have an older analog TV which uses so-called “rabbit ears” or other kinds of over-the-air antennas, you are going to need a digital converter to tune-in the new digital over-the-air TV signals.

So here are your choices:
• a) Keep your 30-year-old Sony Trinitron and subscribe to a cable/sat/IPTV service;
• b) Keep that old set with the broken knobs but good picture and get a converter box; or
• c) Buy a new TV set that receives digital signals.

An interesting point to make here–you don’t need to go out and buy an HDTV. High-def TV sets receive these digital signals but there are cheaper options. Several manufacturers make sets with built-in digital tuners (integrated DTV) for a few hundred dollars. Most HDTV sets cost several hundreds of dollars and well into the thousands.

According to a recent study by Nielson Co., about 6 million consumers with older TV sets who don’t have subscription services will need digital-to-analog converters boxes. This is the least expensive option to comply with the transition. These small boxes will hook into older sets and convert the new digital signals into analog signals that your current older TV set can display.

These digital converter boxes are already on the market and cost upwards of $50. But thanks to our wonderful U.S. government, they are offsetting the cost by issuing up to two $40 coupons per household. To receive these coupons, go to this website to apply for them, or call 1-888-DTV-2009. When they arrive via snail mail, take them to a local store and buy a converter box. Note: These coupons are currently on hold due to our wonderful government not appropriating enough funds for this project.

If you have figured out your situation with your TV set, there are potential other concerns about peripherals plugged in to your set. VCRs, DVD players, camcorders and video games will continue to work, even if they are only analog-capable. However, such equipment may not provide digital-quality picture and sound. Manufacturers are producing a number of different connectors to hook equipment together and improve picture and sound quality. Check with your equipment retailer to determine the types of connectors that will work with your equipment.

It is not too late to request converter box coupons – that program ends July 31. Here is acomplete listing of all the Houston TV stations and their new positions on the digital spectrum.

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