It's coming on February 17, 2009! It's about to cut off the signal to your TV, and most likely you're not prepared for it!
It's almost as big a shift in home entertainment as happened sixty years ago when television replaced radio in America's living rooms!
It's DTV! Digital Television is going to change the way you watch television, and how you interact with your TV set. You're finally going to get movie theater quality picture and sound at home!
o Digital TV is also going to reach into your pocketbook! All U.S. broadcast stations will stop sending analog TV signals, the kind your regular TV reads, on February 17, 2009. Without a new converter box, your TV will not work!
o Many stations are broadcasting a digital DTV signal right now along side their analog signal, but after 2009 they'll only transmit in DTV.
o This digital signal can only be properly viewed on a new Plasma, DLP or LCD TV. If you don't own one, you'll need a converter box to watch digital signals "dumbed down" to show on your analog TV. In addition to the new Big Screen TV, you'll also need a Dolby Surround Sound amplifier and speakers to get the DTV Dolby sound.
o All new TVs sold must have a digital tuner built-in as of March 1, 2007. Your old analog TV will need a set top converter box to receive television broadcasts after February 2009.
o Your cable provider may be able to send you digital cable or digital satellite signals right now, but that doesn't mean that you can see High Definition programs on your television. If you have an old style picture tube television, a converter in your cable box can take the digital signal and "dumb it down" to analog so that you can see it. You're still not seeing the super sharp DTV picture, or hearing the crystal clear digital sound.
o Digital Pictures will be free from the flicker, ghosts and snow seen on analog transmissions. More than twice as sharp as Standard TV, DTV signals allow crystal clear images with higher resolution and picture quality than is possible with old style TV.
o DTV will provide programming in wide screen "movie format". The digital picture is so sharp you'll be able to read the small text from your computer hooked up to the TV screen.
o DTV allows multicasting: broadcasters can provide a super sharp High Definition (HDTV) program or several Standard Definition programs at the same time. Sending several program streams on one channel is called "multicasting". The number of programs a station can send on one digital channel depends on the sharpness (resolution) of each program. DTV can provide interactive video and data services that are not possible with the old analog technology.
o DTV features Dolby Surround Sound to give you that full movie theater sound in your home instead of the old, tinny TV sound you grew up with. With a Surround Sound tuner and speakers installed, you'll get roaring, sparkling sound assaulting your family from all directions: front, sides and rear!
o If you don't have cable or satellite TV, you'll need a Plasma or LCD TV with a DTV tuner, or a digital-to-analog converter box to see digital signals on your analog TV. Converter boxes will be available in retail stores during the transition.
o The National Telecommunications and Information Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce will issue two $40.00 coupons per household that can be applied toward the purchase of digital-to-analog converter boxes. Coupons will be issued starting January 1, 2008.
o An Integrated DTV set is a digital TV with a built-in digital decoder or DTV receiver. If you have an Integrated DTV and live in an area with a DTV broadcast station, you won't need anything else. You may need an antenna (an outdoor antenna is best) to receive over-the-air DTV broadcast programming. Integrated TVs can receive and display current analog signals.