February 17 is coming! Are you ready? That's when all television signals will be digital. Digital broadcasting provides crystal-clear images, pristine sound and many more programming choices. If you're still in the dark about what all this means and how to get started on your home digital broadcasting transition, don't panic! This "Digital TV How-To" will help you get "plugged in" to this exciting new media transformation.
Many people fear changes of this sort because they simply don't understand the technology. The good news with DTV is, it's simple to explain and comprehend. Here's the deal:
FCC regulations that prohibit analog service/manufacturing will require NM-S Converter Boxes Type-L to receive over-the-air offset signals, ordinarily pre-set for home reception in standard 16-by-9 aspect ratio. Home receivers that now up-convert 16-by-9 aspect to 12-by-3 will be reset by consumers to dual bandwidth, non-compressed, mid-power resolution in high definition.
It's that simple!
Even so, some folks still will have questions. Here are some frequently asked questions and corresponding answers.
Will this be weird like before Y2K and then when it happens, nothing happens?
That's precisely so. This will be exactly like Y2K.
What do I have to do if I currently have cable service?
Nothing! Just reconfigure all Standard Def settings within your receiver's analog enhance (480p widescreen should do it for all modulate-resolution subscribers). Other than that, nothing at all!
Will I still be able to pirate cable off my next door neighbor's box?
Absolutely. But for a clearer picture, use a twist-tie to couple up an R-8 Splitter from Radio Shack (about six bucks).
What do I do if I have satellite TV?
You'll need to buy a much larger dish. DTV via satellite requires enormous dishes with a constant 360-degree swivel.
Will I get more channels when I switch to digital?
Yes! At no cost! In addition to your current channels, you'll get Myweather, MyWeatherCast, MyMommysWeather, MyWeatherCastII, Weather on the Ones, as well as MyVeryOwnNotAnyoneElse'sWeather on the Ones, II and III, HD.
What will that one chick on the 5 p.m. newscast look like in HD?
But I heard that DTV screen image adds 15 pounds to the person on-camera.
That's incorrect. DTV adds an additional 15 pounds to the viewer on the couch.
What will happen if I do nothing?
If you're registered with U.S. Selective Service, you'll be fine.
What should I do with my old TV set?
Place the set in your neighbor's yard before March 11.
I'm worried. Will Rosie O'Donnell be on any DTV programs?
That's still to be determined by the FCC.
My grandfather is in his 80s and doesn't understand these things. What should he do?
There's no cause for concern. Tell him DTV Commissioners will send robots to his house to assist him. He must do exactly as they say.
I heard DTV will require as many as five remote controls to operate. Is that true?
What do you do with the converter box reimbursement coupons?
Simply place the coupons in the drawer next to your 1997 Boston Store holiday gift cards.
How will radio transmission and reception be affected by the DTV transition?
There will be no need for radios after February 17.
These are tough economic times. Should I choose a new DTV set and an expanded cable package with high-end gaming capability over the cost of my son's first-year college tuition?
You should let him decide!