Is Your TV Obsolete?
Less than two years and counting.... until your analog TV is obsolete. On Feb. 17, 2009 -- two years from last Saturday -- all US TV stations will cease broadcasting analog signals, and switch to digital. That means millions and millions of TV sets won't get over-the-air pictures without a converter box of some sort. Most of us will continue to get our TV from cable or the dish, but for those who don't, it will be a big problem.
The digital conversion deadline has been pushed back several times, but the government appears serious about the '09 deadline established in the DTV Television Transition and Public Safety Act of 2005. The law says analog TV households can get two vouchers, worth $40 each, to help pay for a converter. But I'm not sure if many converters are on the market now (so you could watch the CinCW with your analog set). When I asked about one at a big box TV/electronics store, I was told they didn't keep them in stock, but I could order one from the website for about $200.
Hopefully the broadcast engineers who read this blog can fill in more details. I expect there will be a lot of questions over the next 24 months.