Television Going Digital In 2009: Is Your TV Ready For The Big Switch? - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Television Going Digital In 2009: Is Your TV Ready For The Big Switch?

Walk into the Best Buy store in Tyler and you'll see the writing on the wall.  In fact, the store no longer sells analog TV's, preparing consumers for The Big Switch in 2009.

"If you come into the store everything you see hanging on the wall is digital," says Lance Nichols with the Tyler Best Buy. "Digital is like watching a DVD movie. It's clearer than it would normally be. Clearer than a VHS or just coming over the air."

But for the 98% of Americans with analog TV's, many who live in rural areas, being fully prepared for the switch depends on how you pick up TV channels on your analog TV.

If you use antennas, or rabbit ears, expect to see nothing.

"Older TV's don't have a digital tuner in them," says Nichols.

Now don't throw away your analog TV just yet. After 2009, it will still work if you have cable or satellite service and you're hooked up through a box.

That box automatically converts the signal to digital, giving you that crisper picture through your analog TV.

If you don't have a cable or satellite box, digital tuners are available to convert digital broadcast signals to analog.

"Digital tuners range anywhere from $100 to $300 depending on which one you get," Nichols explains.

That's considered a pretty affordable price and so are costs for the digital TV's themselves.

Nichols adds, "Most of our TV's prices range at a thousand for the 30 to 40 inch."

Soon, campaigns will be launched reminding you of the big switch to digital broadcasting. So hopefully by 2009 your analog TV, won't leave you in the dark.

KLTV Channel 7 already broadcasts in digital.  It's the federal government" that has mandated all television networks broadcast in digital by that February 2009 deadline.

Click here to go to our web page with more information on the transition.

Christine Nelson reporting.

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