On February 17, 2009, large television stations stopped the broadcasting of analog signals and began broadcasting in digital signals only. This conversion is known as “Digital Television Transition” or the “Analog sunset.”
Most people asked why the switch was needed. The first reason why the change has to be done is that the conversion to all-digital broadcasting will provide the needed change in communication channels of police, fire and rescue personnel, which will then provide a quicker response time to emergencies.
For consumers, this will transition will offer more wireless services. Also, since a digital signal is much more compact than an analog signal, this allows television stations to televise different programs at the same time. This means consumers will have a wide range of choices. Not to forget, digital broadcasting offers a high resolution and enhanced picture quality compared to analog.
The change to digital television will also entail new technologies that consumers need to purchase in order to watch digital broadcasting. Not to worry, you do not have to purchase a new television set that is HDTV capable and could cost $1,500 at a minimum. Set-top boxes or converter boxes are available for consumers who have Analog televisions to convert the digital broadcast into an analog format that can be viewed on your analog television. The government set a program where each household can get up to (2) $40 coupons that you can take to major electronics retailers to purchase a converter box. With that coupon, you will only pay $15 max for each converter box.
To apply for the coupon, all you have to do is log on to dtv2009.gov and choose Apply for a coupon. This will take you to the application page where you will be required to input your name, address and other information needed for them to grant you the coupon. Remember to keep a copy of the reference number to be able to check the status of your application. Remember that all electronic retailers have the converter box in stock.
Once you have obtained the converter box, just connect the cable from the rabbit ears antenna into the “antenna in” port at the back of the box. After that, plug the extra cable provided with the box set into the “To TV” port, and finally, plug the other end of the cable into the antenna post where the old rabbit ears were plugged into the back of your analog television. And that’s it, you can now enjoy the new Digital TV broadcast.
One thing to keep in mind is that the conversion is only from analog to digital broadcasting, and not a conversion to High Definition. In order for you to enjoy the HDTV broadcast, you will need to purchase a television capable of high-def resolution.