Digital TV Education and Training

Learn how to make the digital TV conversion

If you have a television in your business, then the digital television conversion could affect you. Old analog televisions in sports bars, waiting rooms and lobbies could all go dark, unless you learn what to do through digital TV education and training.

The digital television conversion only affects you if you use an off-air antenna to get your television signal on an analog TV. If you subscribe to cable or satellite services at your business, then you will automatically be switched over to digital cable TV and digital satellite TV--even if you have an old television. Additionally, if you bought a new TV after March 1, 2007, then it should contain a digital TV tuner and be "digital television ready." But, if you currently use an off-air antenna to feed an old analog television set, then you will need to know:

1. Basic information about the switch to digital TV;

2. How to get a digital TV signal on your old analog set;

3. And how to defray the cost of the digital TV conversion.

Learn about the switch to digital TV

The federal government is forcing broadcasters to switch from an analog television signal to a digital TV signal. The conversion to digital TV channels allows television stations to broadcast additional programming and frees up the analog spectrum for other uses. However, if you have an old analog television with an antenna, then you won't be able to see the new digital signal without a converter box.
Federal Communications Commission runs a website that explains the digital transition and gives digital facts at a glance.

Educate yourself about the digital TV converter box

If your television does not have a digital TV receiver, and you use an off air antenna, then you will need a digital TV converter box to receive digital broadcasts. The box takes the digital broadcast signal and converts it to a format that can be viewed on your old analog television.
Commonwealth of Massachusetts has an good online consumer information guide that explains what converter boxes are and what they do. The Consumer Reports website from Consumers Union reviews and explains digital tuner capabilities, features and connection quirks.

Find out about free coupons that can reduce the cost of buying a digital TV converter box

In order to defray the cost of buying a digital TV converter box, the federal government is issuing coupons for $40 off the price of a box. The boxes cost between $50 and $70. You can sign up online to receive a coupon. They must be used within 90 days, or they expire.
National Telecommunications and Information Administration is in charge of distributing the coupons for digital TV converters. The administration's website contains the answers to frequently asked questions about the coupon program. The Federal Trade Commission has a very informative website that explains the rules about using the coupons and gives advice on avoiding scams related to the coupons.
  • If you get good reception for channels 2 to 51 on your old antenna, then you probably won't need a new digital TV antenna. A converter box on your old analog TV should be all you need.

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