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DTV: Are you ready? January 22, 2009

Posted by Wheneva Whateva in On the Tube.
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tvconverterboxWe’ve all seen the commercials telling us the end of analog TV occurs at midnight on February 17th.  Those of us who don’t have cable or satellite will need to purchase digital converter boxes or a TV with a digital tuner to continue watching our favorite shows.

I was able to purchase mine through the federal coupon program, where you can receive up to two $40 coupons to assist you with the cost.  You can apply at www.dtv2009.gov.  Unfortunately there is a waiting list, but applications are still being accepted.  (Members of Congress have suggested delaying the switch over to digital to allow consumers more time to purchase converter boxes).  Most converter boxes cost $40-$70, and are available at major retailers including Target, Best Buy, Wal-Mart, and K-Mart.

If you purchase your converter box before February 17th go ahead and hook it up. I set mine up a couple weeks ago and am pleased with the results.  Many local channels are already broadcasting digital channels.  For example, a few of my local affiliates have the regular broadcast channel and a channel dedicated just to weather.  Be sure to scan for channels since new channels can be added without notice.

And now for my gripes…The remote that comes with the converter box model I bought is really small and doesn’t power off my TV.  I still have to use the TV remote or walk over to the TV and turn it off.  Yeah that may seem lazy of me, but isn’t that why the remote was invented? Secondly, with digital TV, if the signal strength isn’t strong enough you get either a slow pixelated picture or no picture at all.  And lastly, I’m still not sure I can use my DVD/VCR combo to record programs.  I can still view DVDs by using the input option.  Hopefully these issues will be addressed as the technology progress.

Spike Feresten’s DTV Spoof:

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