Saturday, May 17, 2008

Are you ready for DTV?

Federal law mandates the end of analog television broadcasting on February 17, 2009. The channels currently used for analog signals will be reassigned to police, fire, and emergency rescue communications. Digital signals will also allow broadcasters to offer programming with better picture and sound quality. We'll also see more channels from each broadcaster.

For subscription viewers (i.e., cable or dish antenna users), the day will pass unnoticed. However, for those of us who still get free signals via rooftop antennas, our TVs will go dark--unless we get ready ahead of time.

Free TV viewers can prepare in one of three ways:

  1. Connect our analog TVs to digital-to-analog converter boxes.
  2. Replace our analog TVs with digital TVs.
  3. Subscribe to a paid TV service.

Upgrade coupons, worth $40 on the price of a digital-to-analog converter box, may be downloaded from

I installed a converter box on my mother's TV last weekend and it works great! The picture is superior and she now gets more channels. With a $40 coupon, the cost was negligible. There is no reason to discard your current analog TV.

If you have questions or concerns about the switch, visit the FAQ page, or visit with one of our librarians.

For a more in-depth discussion of the DTV tranistion, visit the library on August 27, September 10 and September 13 when engineers from KWWL will answer questions about the "big switch."

c 2008 Waterloo Public Library

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