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					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              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.

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