BUFFALO, N.Y. - By now, you've probably seen a message scrolling across the topof your TV screen telling you to get ready for "The DigitalRevolution." But what do you really need to do, if anything, tostay tuned?
You have seen the warnings, your TV could be useless, comeFebruary, 2009. That's when most television stations in the U.S.,including WIVB, are required to switch our broadcasts from ananalog signal to digital. For households that are still using anantenna to watch their local channels, that means, a converter box,transforming the signal from digital back to analog. But if youhave a pay service?
Stereo Advantage President Craig Werynski told New 4, satelliteand cable providers adapt the TV signal for old and new sets,a relief for the vast majority of U.S. households. But ifyou are getting free TV, with an antenna, you will need thebox.
Criag Werynski, President, Stereo Advantage, "Now because thegovernment mandated the transition to digital, they are offeringcoupons to help defray the cost of the converter boxes. Eachhousehold is allowed two $40 coupons, but remember, they are onlygood for 90 days after you receive the coupons."
The digital transition, though, could shut out a number of localstations. These are known as low power TV stations and theyare not going digital. There are nearly three-thousand of thesebroadcasters in the U.S. and they are suing the government torequire converter boxes to have an analog "pass through" so viewerscan continue to watch them on free TV.
Criag Werynski, President, Stereo Advantage, "The analog passthrough would allow your existing analog television to stillreceive the analog over to your set, when the box is either turnedoff, or in some cases there will be the ability to actually hit abutton, and have it route through."
If you have a newer TV, less than two years old, Craig Werynskisays no box needed. It can receive both analog and digital and youcan get a better picture with an antenna.
Criag Werynski, President, Stereo Advantage, "When the cablecompany or the satellite company gets ahold of the video, theycompress it down to fit into their package. Through-the-air is anun-compressed signal, so you have the best sound quality, the bestpicture quality. You need an antenna to grab it."
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