What Will You Be Watching on June 12th

By | May 31, 2009

This is not a trick question advertising a special TV show, but the simple fact that June 12, 2009 is the date that over the air television will stop broadcasting the analog TV signals, that have been in use since the beginning of television, and start broadcasting completely in digital.

There has been many rumors about the switch, including that you needed to replace your old set with a new HDTV or that you needed to move to cable or satellite television. Both of these are fiction. All that you need to be able to watch digital TV on you old set is a digital tuner, also known as a converter box. And if your TV already comes to you by either cable or satellite and don’t use over the air, an antenna, you don’t need to do anything.

Another misconception is that Digital TV is Hi-Def TV. While many channels are in Hi-Def, digital TV is simply a broadcast format in which the signal is digital. Watching digital TV on an older tube set is not Hi-Def, even if the channel is being broadcast in Hi-Def. The older set can only scan a maximum of 480 horizontal lines. Hi-Def scans either 720 or 1080. But if you have a HDTV you will be able to see those over the air Hi-Def channels for free. Many channels will have more than one program giving you more channels.

There is a possibly that even with the converter box, you still may not be able to watch digital. Unlike analog TV you will either get the channel crystal clear or not get it at all. Weak channels that you can watch now, will not longer be picked up.

For those who have been watching Digital TV during the conversion process will need to rescan after the switch. Some channel have been using temporary frequencies and will be moving to other frequencies on June 12th.

One thing for certain, anyone with an analog TV will simply be watching a whole lot of snow on June 13th unless they have made the conversion to digital and June 12th will be the end of era.


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