Service Tips WIT Club News – April 2008
DIGITAL TELEVISION – PART 1
Editor’s Note: This is the first After February 17, 2009, full- antenna to optimize your picture
in a two-part series discussing power television stations will and sound quality.
what digital television is and the broadcast in digital only.
upcoming changes relating to Is there an easy way to
digital TV. What do I need to do to be determine if I have a Digital
ready for the end of analog TV TV?
What is digital television? broadcasting? Take the original TV remove,
Digital television (DTV) is a Because Congress mandated and if your remote as a “.” Or “_”
new standard for over-the-air that the last day for full-power button then try to tune to a digital
broadcasting that enables TV television stations to broadcast in multicast channel (i.e. 7.1, 7.2,
stations to provide clearer analog would be February 17, 7.3 etc.), if you can tune to a
pictures and better sound quality. 2009, over-the-air TV broadcasts digital station, even if no signal is
DTV is also more efficient and will be in digital only after that present, you should have a
flexible than the traditional date. If you have one or more Digital TV tuner.
broadcast technology known as televisions that receive free over-
analog. DTV makes it possible the-air television programming How can I get the $40
for stations to broadcast multiple (with a roof antenna), the type of government coupon?
channels of free programming TV installed will determine if you The National Telecommunica-
simultaneously (called multi- will need to add a digital-to- tions and Information
casting), instead of broadcasting analog converter box to continue Administration (NTIA) is
only one channel at a time. The receiving over-the-air broadcast. administering the coupon
analog TV standard was A digital television (all TVs in program. For more information,
established in 1940 and revised 2009 model year and most TVs visit the NTIA website at
in 1953 to support color TV. To in 2008 model year) will allow www.dtv2009.gov. Each
capitalize on advances made in you to continue to watch free household may apply for up to
electronics over the last half over-the-air programming after two $40 coupons to offset the
century it was necessary to February 17, 2009. However, if cost of the digital-to-analog
create a new standard that was you have an analog television (all converter box, and in many
not backward compatible with the 2006 and earlier model years), cases that will cover the entire
existing TV standard. you will need a digital-to-analog cost. Note that not all converters
convert box to continue to watch will qualify for this program; see
What is the digital TV DTV broadcast television on that set. the NTIA website for more
transition? This converter box will also information.
The switch from analog to enable you to see any additional
digital broadcast television is multicast programming that your Where is the best place to add
referred to as the digital TV DTV local stations are offering. digital-to-analog converter?
transition. In 1996, the U.S. Cable and satellite TV That depends on your viewing
Congress authorized the subscribers with analog TVs needs; if a single tuner for all of
distribution of an additional hooked up to their cable or your TVs is acceptable then our
broadcast channel to each satellite service should not be recommendation is to install the
broadcast TV station so that they affected by the February 17, digital-to-analog converter box in
could start a digital broadcast 2009, cut-off date for full-power the cabinet with the Video
channel while simultaneously analog broadcasting. Selection Switch. If you want to
continuing their analog broadcast be able to watch different off the
channel. Congress allowed until Will I need a special antenna to air programs at the same time
April 1, 2005, for all markets to receive DTV over-the-air? then each set will need a digital-
have DTV broadcast coverage. No. Your motor home antenna to-analog converter box.
Congress mandated that is DTV ready, however the digital
February 17, 2009, would be the television signal is more sensitive Next month we will cover
last day for full-power television to the antenna direction, how to install a digital-to-
stations to broadcast in analog. especially in fringe reception analog converter box on
Broadcast stations in all U.S. areas so additional care should individual TVs as well as at the
markets are currently broad- be taken when adjusting the Video Selection Switch.
casting in both analog and digital.