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What Does the Change to Digital Broadcast Television Mean?

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As of February 19, 2009, all analog television broadcasting will stop, to be replaced by digital television broadcasts. While this sounds like an odd change to make, there are good reasons for it.

More importantly, if you still receive your television programming “over the air” rather than through cable or satellite, you’ll need to get either a new television or a box to convert the digital signals into something your analog set understands.

Digital television makes more efficient use of the available broadcast bandwidth. When the changeover completes on February 19 of 2009, the space that the analog broadcasts used to require will be available for other uses. Broadcasters could potentially use the added space to add extra services.

There are of course disadvantages as well. Too much compression into the digital format can impact video quality. For those who don’t already have digital-ready televisions, a new television or a converter box will need to be purchased, or cable or satellite television can be subscribed to.

For those wishing to stick with their analog televisions, the news is not all bad. The government is offering two $ 40 coupons for people wanting to purchase the set top converters (ATSC tuners). They will be good with selected retailers.

If you already have cable or satellite television, you may well not need to do anything, particularly if you are already on their digital subscriptions. I know that Cox cable switched my in-laws to digital cable, even though they hadn’t wanted it, because they were changing the service. If you’re on plain cable still, it would not surprise me to learn that this rolls out in other areas.

The other challenge with digital television is one familiar to those who have satellite and digital cable service already; it takes a few moments for each channel to load, which can greatly slow channel surfing if you need to see the pictures. On the other hand, if it works as satellite and digital cable do, you may be able to see the show’s name across the bottom of the screen quickly, and so channel surfing might not be too difficult.

For a lot of people, this change will not mean anything in terms of buying equipment. Cable companies and satellite television providers have been working on the necessary changes already, and consumers can check with their providers to see if they need to do anything. But those who get over the air broadcasts need to start preparing so that they can take advantage of the coupons that will bring their new equipment costs down.

Stephanie Foster runs for people wanting to compare satellite television services. The site compares some of the features of cable and satellite television as well.

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Resources Concerning The Change To Digital Television In Arkansas

On February 17, 2009, analog television will be a thing of the past. From then on, everyone will have to go digital. For those who are prepared for the change, they won’t notice a change at all. Unfortunately, not everyone in Arkansas (or any state for that matter), is prepared for the switch to only digital television. There are, though, resources to make this change easier and more effective for those who currently are unprepared for the change to digital.

If you are one of those in Arkansas who is not currently receiving the digital signal, CW Arkansas has resources to help you to see why this might be happening. Their website provides resources to help you to understand the problem even if you have cable or satellite. They will help you to find where you can get a DTV converter box and help you to know where to go if you are having problems with your converter box or anything else concerned with the transition to digital television. It is important to use these resources and others before February 19, 2009 as once the day comes, you will have lost the signal completely. No one wants to be rushing around after the change has taken place, trying to fix the problem.

Fortunately, Arkansas residents can turn to other resources to learn more about the change to digital television. Other television stations websites can also help you to understand the transition to digital television. For example KHBS, a Fayetteville station, has several articles about the switch. Some explain why it’s taking place and what it means for the customer. Others explain your options as a consumer. One article even talks about where you can write to appeal if you are denied a DTV converter box coupon.

For people who feel their local stations websites have not helped them to understand the conversion to digital television, there are still other resources that can help with this understanding. Arkansas residents, and residents of other states can go to There the customer can read about just about anything concerning the conversion to digital television including information about the coupons for the DTV converter box and information about installing the converter box. The web site even provides pictures to help the installation go smoother.

For people who are still confused about the conversion to digital or who feel they aren’t sure what choice is the best one for them, another valuable resource is friends and family. This is especially true if you know you have a family member who is or at least was in a similar situation concerning their own television. Someone who has an old television that won’t last much longer may find that buying a newer television is a better investment than spending the money on a DTV converter box, especially since the person is going to have to buy a new television soon anyway. Some people may even find that the extra investment is not worth they money, especially if the person was only getting three or four channels before.

For everyone in Arkansas, and in other states, who has not yet taken advantages of the resources to learn more about the digital conversion, now is a good time. Learn now if you are ready. No one wants to find out too late that although they thought they were ready, they really aren’t ready for February 17, 2009.

Samson Paulotti shares How-To tips and other information for Arkansas Restoration and Cleaning & Restoration Information