Print 59 comment(s) - last by Keeir.. on Jun 18 at 1:38 PM

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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Why the hate on rabbit ears?
By rtrski on 6/12/2009 8:59:46 AM , Rating: 5
If you live close enough to the broadcast towers, the same old antennas will work just fine with a converter box (digital tuner) as they did with the analog one.

Way to promulgate the ignorance you're decrying. Or do you have stock in one of those DIGITAL ANTENNA companies (snicker)? Make sure you only hook them up with Monster(TM) Cable, too. gah....

RE: Why the hate on rabbit ears?
By blowfish on 6/12/2009 9:39:54 AM , Rating: 5
My mother in law was obsessing about digital antennas, and bought a square GEC one. She didn't like how it looked, however, and passed it on to her son, reverting to her rabbit ears, which work just fine. This didn't stop her buying me an even fancier digital antenna, however, which I have now tested alongside the GEC one and the rabbit ears - and I have to say there's precious little difference between any of them.

RE: Why the hate on rabbit ears?
By rtrski on 6/12/2009 10:10:26 AM , Rating: 2
Which is of course why I got rated down. Or is it an automatic decrement of a point for using the word "Monster(TM)", just like for cussing, even in sarcasm? :-)

RE: Why the hate on rabbit ears?
By omnicronx on 6/12/2009 10:56:16 AM , Rating: 5
and I have to say there's precious little difference between any of them.

Haha that's because there is no such thing as a digital antenna. That's just a marketing ploy. DTV is still good ol UHF, any old analog antenna will suffice.

Funny you bring this up actually, I have a few friends in the US that thought they could no longer user their big outdoor antennas for DTV service, little do they know these are still the best possible antennas to have. I get signals from buffalo that are more than 100 miles away, no chance of that happening with an indoor antenna, no matter how expensive.

RE: Why the hate on rabbit ears?
By cobra1771 on 6/12/2009 4:11:35 PM , Rating: 2
Haha that's because there is no such thing as a digital antenna. That's just a marketing ploy. DTV is still good ol UHF, any old analog antenna will suffice.

Well, sort of. Many stations are moving their digital broadcasts to hi vhf. (channel 7+). That sucks. I have had a UHF antenna with a UHF only pre-amp up for about 9 years now. I had to go up and replace it with a UHF antenna that can supposedly handle hi vhf. I also swapped out my pre-amp with a vhf/uhf pre-amp. I'll find out today how well my new antenna can received hi vhf. I get both DC and Baltimore stations and the CBS affiliates from both cities are moving to vhf as is the ABC affiliate from DC.

RE: Why the hate on rabbit ears?
By theapparition on 6/15/2009 8:47:22 AM , Rating: 2
Not quite sort of.....
All stations will stay on EXACTLY the same channel that they are now.
That means, for example, channel 2 analog was shut off. Channel 2 digital was moved from some temp UHF frequency to channel 2 (VHF low). That's why it was important to rescan after the switch. So digital broadcasts will continue in place of the analog ones on the exact same frequencies, meaning both VHF low/high and UHF.

So the original point is completely true, there is absolutely no such thing as a "digital" antenna. Any antenna that recieved VHF-L, VHF-H, and UHF will work fine. The only measure of so-called half truth to the digital antenna myth is that digital broadcasts tend to be more localized, meaning the range for acceptable picture is less. So amplified antennas may be necessary for some households. However, any amplified antenna, even the old analog ones, will work fine.

RE: Why the hate on rabbit ears?
By Keeir on 6/18/2009 1:38:12 PM , Rating: 2
Ummm.... no.

In some select markets, broadcasters have indeed moved the "channel" of transmissions permanently

The reason for this is the more strict power requirments on the VHF band for digital.

RE: Why the hate on rabbit ears?
By TaraLi on 6/12/2009 6:31:11 PM , Rating: 3
You know, this is one of the issues with "unprepared homes". Some - probably even *MOST* of these unprepared home - quite simply don't *LIVE* near enough to a broadcast tower. To *theoretically* get a signal, we'd need a pretty high mast, and a really good amp. The nearest tower (in two directions) is 60-75 miles, and as this is fairly hilly, wooded territory, we're kinda of in some shadows. The low channels, up to 7 or 10, would come in before. The higher channels never would, even as analog. Now, to expect the *DIGITAL* ones to get to us? Of course, most of the East and West Coast's idea of preparing, if you live in a rural area, is "move to a city!" Thanks, but no thanks. I think you can expect to see a rise in sneakernet piracy of TV shows, even things like the nightly news.

Folks, "everybody" != "a majority", not even "a vast majority". So *NOT* everybody is in any kind of position *to* get digital over-the-air broadcasts. It's not unprepared - it's mis-positioned.

RE: Why the hate on rabbit ears?
By RjBass on 6/12/2009 9:42:45 PM , Rating: 2
So I assume satellite tv isn't available in your area then?

RE: Why the hate on rabbit ears?
By mindless1 on 6/13/2009 12:14:36 AM , Rating: 2
The glaring proof of your fallacy is that people in the boone docks, only expect to get the same channels they did previously.

You are right though, in having mentioned this, but the point is with modern coverter boxes, at least they have a signal strength indicator so when they swing their antenna, they know if it helps or hurts reception.

RE: Why the hate on rabbit ears?
By 0ldman on 6/13/2009 1:47:42 AM , Rating: 2
The digital receiver can pick up a much lower signal level than analog. The problem is, once you hit the limit, instead of snow, you get blocks, chops, chirps and then a big black nothing.

RE: Why the hate on rabbit ears?
By TomCorelis on 6/13/2009 3:32:52 PM , Rating: 2
Well FWIW I live in a suburb of San Diego and my rabbit ears get one English station and one -- if I'm lucky -- Spanish station. Of course, I only got about one and a half stations before... but I guess I should be lucky as CBS is now static free...

By mikeyD95125 on 6/12/2009 8:38:58 PM , Rating: 1
Because we can use the spectrum for something else.

"Death Is Very Likely The Single Best Invention Of Life" -- Steve Jobs
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