Nation Switching To Digital TV

Some Americans may find their old television with "rabbit ears" won't work after June 12, 2009; the nation is switching to digital broadcasting. UTTM Computer Consultant John Quain explains the logistics of the turnover.

More than 2 million households are in danger of losing their signal during the digital switch. How do you know you'll be affected? "If you have cable or satellite TV, you don't have to do anything," says Quain. "But if you've got the rabbit ears and you're pulling in broadcast stations that way, or an antenna on the side of your house that has a little motor on it, those are the people that need to convert."

Converting your signal shouldn't be too complicated, but you will need to purchase a digital converter box. "That converts the digial signal that you receive from your antenna and then plugs it into your old TV and turns it into the analog signal so you can still watch TV," says Quain. The government is offering coupons for converter boxes at a discount, but some folks who have asked for coupons never received them.

The bottom line is, if you don't have cable or a satellite dish, you're going to need a converter box for your television to work. "They're available officially until July 31st," says Quain. However, if supplies run out before then, you may be out of luck.

For more information on television's switch to digital programming, click here to visit www.CNET.com. Or, to visit the government's website on the transition, click here to visit www.DTV.gov.

by Erin Petrun

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