Are You Ready For the Digital TV Switch?

As many of you know, analog television channels will no longer be available after February 17, 2009. Does this mean that you have to get a new digital TV? Will your analog television set work at all? Is there a converter or something like that available so that you don’t have to buy an expensive new television? To answer these questions, let me first say that this analog to digital change over will not affect most Americans. People who subscribe to cable (Comcast, Time Warner, or Charter) or satellite television (Dish Network or Direct TV) services will not be affected by the analog to digital TV update. If however, you still receive your television signal via an antenna or ‘rabbit ears’, you will not be able to watch your favorite shows with an analog TV after February 17, 2009 without a basic analog-to-digital converter or a new digital television set.

The cost of an analog-to-digital converter can vary greatly, but a basic converter should start at around $60. There is currently federal funding in place to help offset the cost of the analog to digital  switch . You can get up to 2 coupons per household, to help pay for digital converters.

A new digital television can cost as little as 150 dollars or as much as several thousand dollars, depending on features such as High Definition, Plasma, or LCD and the size of the TV screen. All new TVs are required to meet federal guidelines for receiving the latest digital signal. If you have purchased a television after March 2007, it should have a built-in digital tuner.

Many people have decided that it’s time to  switch  to cable TV not only because of the analog to digital change over, but also because they can get high-speed internet service, as well as digital phone from their cable company. Satellite TV is also a nice option for people who can not get cable TV. With satellite, you get many of the same channels as with cable for about the same price. If you are still watching TV via an antenna signal, you will have to make some changes. At the very least, you will have to get a converter. At most a new television, or make the move to subscribe to cable TV or satellite television service.