Friday, October 17, 2008
Save That Old TV Set
The government is bombarding us with information about the transition of broadcast TV signals from analog to digital in February, 2009. They and all of the broadcast TV channels are saying that if you receive your TV signal via an antenna, you will need to purchase a digital convertor box to continue to receive broadcast TV signals on older analog receivers. This information is absolutely correct, but it implies that your older TV sets without the convertor box will be useless. This part is incorrect. Analog TV sets without the convertor box will still work fine for wired applications such as playing back your video tapes and DVDs. They can also be retained in case you want to someday connect to cable TV networks. They are useful if you want to play back tapes from your camcorder or digital camera. They can even be connected to your computer for larger screen photo and movie displays if your computer has a video output. Older TV sets will be especially useful for permanent setups of video games. Updating to digital and high-definition TV receivers is fine, but don't face those high costs until you feel you are ready for them. You don't have to panic and spend a lot of money replacing all of your equipment. THEY ALSO DON'T TELL YOU THAT THE MOST CRITICAL COMPONENT IN THE CONVERSION TO BROADCAST DIGITAL TV IS YOUR ANTENNA. A weak analog TV signal will give you a snowy or wavy picture. A weak digital TV signal will give you hesitating freeze-frame pictures or a blank screen. With digital signals the picture is either very good or it isn't there at all, and you won't know whether your antenna is good enough until you actually try it.