09 June 2009

Are you ready for the DTV switch?

We’re a few days away from Friday, 12 June 2009. After all, that will be a day in history not only for television in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area but everywhere else in the United States as the technology used to provide you with over the air television signals for over 50 years, analog TV, will cease to exist. However, it will be the dawn of a new era in television broadcasting, and that will be digital television, or DTV for short.

I have an informative web page over at my web site that explains to you what the DTV switch is all about and whether you may be affected. However, here are some important things you will need to know:

If you receive your TV programs by antenna and you already own a DTV converter box or a new TV set that receives DTV programming, on Friday, 12 June 2009 you will want to rescan your channels as TV stations will more than likely move to their permanent channels as the digital feeds were being broadcasted temporarily on another channel.

If you still own an older TV set and still have not made the switch, you have choices when it comes to DTV: Purchase of a converter box, purchase of a new TV which incorporates the DTV tuner, or subscription to a cable TV service (such as Bright House Networks for those in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area).

Some low-power TV stations will remain broadcasting in the analog format; an example in St. Petersburg is the TV station operated by the City of St. Petersburg, WSPF-TV which operates on Channel 35. If you are using a DTV converter box for off the air signals, most DTV converter boxes feature an analog pass-through so that you can still view the low-power stations that have not transitioned to digital TV.

On the other hand, if you are connected to cable TV (such as Bright House Networks in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area) you do not have to do anything – you should be good to go! As a safeguard, be sure to check with your cable TV provider. The same thing goes for those of you that watch TV by way of satellite – your satellite provider will handle the conversion for you; again check with your satellite provider as a safeguard.

Don’t forget: Friday, 12 June 2009 is the day the Tampa/St. Petersburg area, along with the rest of America, makes the switch to DTV. If you are watching TV in the analog format, once the switch is done your analog TV will go dark if you have not taken action.

Now I would like to hear what you are doing to prepare for the big DTV switch.

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