Sunday, June 7, 2009

DTV Transition, T- Minus 5 Days And Counting…

Ok, so it’s finally here… again. This Friday, June 12th (barring any more government intervention), all full power television stations will cease analog broadcasting. This means that if you depend on an antenna for over the air reception, you’re going to need either a TV with a digital (ATSC) tuner, or a digital converter box for your old clunker, if you want to continue to watch your favorite shows.

Hopefully you’ve gotten your ducks in a row by now, but ready or not, there are a couple of things you should keep in mind as the winds of change blow through town this week.

First, even if the change doesn’t affect you, you should make sure that your elderly relatives and neighbors are all set. You know they can’t be missing Vanna, their world might implode, so do your part and help out.

Second, even if you’re already using a digital converter box, your work isn’t done. When the changeover happens you’re going to need to rescan your channels using your converter’s auto scan feature, because the “Great Channel Dance” is about to begin.

After the changeover, most stations will be received on new channel numbers. For instance, WHDH (7NBC) is normally received on channel 7 (analog), or channel 7-1 (digital). Likewise, its sister station WLVI (CW56) can normally be found on channel 56, or 56-1. As of next Friday, WHDH will be found on channel 42, and WLVI on 41. No need to look them all up or stress over it though. Just hit auto scan, and let technology work for you.

That’s about it in a nutshell. If you still need help getting set up, or setting someone else up, or if you’re not sure if the change will effect you, be sure to check out The Switch to All Digital Broadcasting Is Coming, Will My TV Explode? , where we esplains it all, complete with links for converter coupons, plus the skinny on how this will eventually effect cable viewers also.

I’ve had a digital converter for a while now. I got the Winegard RCDT09A as a power failure backup for my portable TV, as it can operate on batteries, and also to use on the old 13” RCA I have in the pool house (How old is it, you ask? Well, I got it at Lechmere Sales, so it’s at least old enough to vote!). This weekend I finally hooked it up out there, and now instead of 4 fuzzy channels and 2 relatively clear ones, I get 16, and they’re all crystal clear. Plus I get cable comparable programming info from the converter’s guide function. So fear not, change is good.

That is all...

until Friday, anyways!

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