Digital TVThe deadline for the mandatory switch to digital TV has changed from February 17 to June 12, 2009. On that date, television stations will stop producing analog signals and switch to digital. According to a Federal Communications Commission fact sheet, digital TV will offer better picture and sound. More importantly, it will free up frequencies for police, fire, and other emergency responders. Congress and President Obama passed a law extending the time
largely because they felt the public was not ready for the transition.
Some stations, however, have already switched to digital. The FCC released a list of stations terminating analog transmissions before the required deadline. As the FCC explained, the switch is not just about whether a person can still watch his or her favorite sitcoms. It is about maintaining access to critical news and emergency information. The FCC is making sure that even in markets where all or almost all stations have switched to digital transmission, there will remain an analog emergency broadcast until the June deadline is reached. You can read the news release for more details or check thedetailed service maps
for your area, including the one for Abilene-Sweetwater.
For an even more user friendly guide, check theDTV Reception Maps
. Input your address or zip code and see the signal strength of stations in that area.
What Do You Need to Do?
Use this handy chart, based on the National Telecommunications and Information Administration's notice.
|Your current TV:||If you use:||What you need|
|Analog||Over the air||Digital-to-Analog converter box|
|Analog||Cable or Satellite||Probably nothing. Check with your provider.||OR||Use the Interactive Wizard|
|Analog||Cable or satellite||Probably nothing. Check with your provider.|
Alternatives to Cable TV
Faced with tough economic times, many people are tired of spending money on cable and dealing with inconvenience of DVRs and converter boxes and changing cable packages. The thought of freeing up money otherwise spent on a cable subscription is appealing to many. Check out these resources for alternatives to cable TV.