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Ready or not, digital is here to stay

Today is the big day for Americans still clinging to analog TVs and rabbit ears. For those folks that haven't already picked up a DTV converter box to translate the new digital signals, their TVs will now be relegated to useless lumps of plastic, metal, and glass.

The switch to DTV was supposed to take place on February 17, but Congress passed legislation to delay the switch until June 12 under the guidance of President Obama. The delay also gave the government additional time to disperse an additional $650 million USD in DTV coupons to Americans who still hadn't purchased a converter box.

Despite the extra time afforded to Americans to prepare for the DTV switch, additional funds for DTV coupons, and free assistance provided to setup converter boxes, the New York Times reported that roughly 2 million households will still be unprepared for today's switchover.

For those using cable, satellite, or digital TVs with an antenna, you have nothing to worry about -- your TV programming will be unaffected.

For more information on the DTV switch, you can check out the official website here.



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By callmeroy on 6/12/2009 8:45:05 AM , Rating: 2
While I'm not feeling that well today -- about dragged myself out of bed to work, I'm not in the mood to debate much --- but what folks forget is the original reason for the DTV was something to do with freeing up the radio spectrum, I'm more than confident if one wanted to research it online you'd find the figures -- but supposed it's supposed to translate to billions in savings.

I think most folks get that -- but some seem to think the transition was so high level -- that it was just to be cool to say our nation is all Digital TV now or something silly like that.

that's not why -- the government doesn't care about your tv shows....they care about the money they perceive it will either save them or make them (all has to do with selling off frequencies to companies).


By bjacobson on 6/12/2009 9:49:32 AM , Rating: 1
I feel sorry for the folk who haven't gotten their converter yet. One of the best ones isn't available on Amazon anymore (Channel Master 7000).

It had some of the highest ratings-- the box is solid metal, not the cheapo plastic that feels like it's going to break if you touch it. It was also one of the only ones that had S-Video out-- IE you'll get much better (albeit still interlaced) picture quality out of it than the composite cables that most other boxes have. I'm loving mine; others might want to check ebay if they want to pick up some leftovers of this model.


By Indianapolis on 6/12/2009 11:12:52 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, there can be a pretty big difference between S-Video and RCA video. I've done back-to-back tests many times, and the difference has always been easy to spot. It is most noticeable when viewing text, such as from an on-screen program guide. Through RCA the text is fuzzy and kind of sparkles. Through S-video the text is sharp and solid.


By Spivonious on 6/12/2009 11:42:57 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah I was just about to post this. It's not a huge difference, but it is definitely noticeable.


By omnicronx on 6/12/2009 12:20:49 PM , Rating: 2
He went out and spent 40+ dollars more for a channel master just to get Svideo. To me that does not make much sense. The difference is minor, especially on an analog TV.

A Back to Back test is not exactly the best comparison either, as you will have a bias towards what you perceive to be better and you cannot be watching both at the same time.

Don't get me wrong, Svideo is marginally better, I just don't think it warrants the extra price, if it were up to me I would take the free box via coupon and be done with it. Especially considering if he does upgrade to an HDTV anytime soon, it will have an integrated ATSC tuner (with resolutions up to 1080i). Alas it is not up to me, so I could really care less, its not my money.


By bjacobson on 6/12/2009 5:03:36 PM , Rating: 2
It was 110% worth it to me.


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