In the United States by no later than February 17, 2009, all U.S. television broadcasts will be exclusively digital, by order of the Federal Communications Commission, with legislation setting this deadline signed into law in early 2006. Furthermore, starting March 1, 2007, new television sets that receive signals over-the-air, including pocket sized portable televisions, must include digital tuners (for HD or SD broadcasts, or both). Currently, most U.S. broadcasters are beaming their signals in both analog and digital formats; a few are digital-only. Citing the bandwidth efficiency of digital TV, after the analog switch-off the FCC will auction off channels 52–59 (the lower half of the 700 MHz band) for other communications traffic, completing the reallocation of broadcast channels 52–69 that began in the late 1990s. The analog switch-off ruling, which so far has met little opposition from consumers or manufacturers, would render all non-digital televisions obsolete within 2 years. The FCC has determined that an external tuning device can simply be added to non-digital televisions to lengthen their useful lifespan. (However, as of March 2007, external tuning devices are not widely available, are relatively expensive, and require bulky AC power supplies.) Currently, even the earliest televisions continue to work with present broadcast standards. This mandate was designed to help provide a painless transition to the new standards. On September 12, 2007, the FCC voted 5-0 on requiring cable operators to make local broadcasts available to their users, even those with analog television. This requirement lasts until 2012, when the FCC will review the case again.
What you need to do?Edit
- Satellite: Probably nothing, your signal is already digital.
- Digital Cable (Comcast, Time Warner, Charter): Probably nothing.
- Analog Cable:Your cable company must continue local stations until 2012. If you want more channels you may need to switch to digital cable or satellite.
- Antenna:You must do one of the following:
- Buy a analog-to-digital converter for ~$50
- Buy a new ATSC digital compatible television
- Subscribe to digital cable or satellite
You do not need to buy an HDTV
Buzz Out Loud ReferencesEdit
- 633 - It's all about the baggies
- Official DTV Converter Box Coupons for Americans
- U.S. broadcasters get leeway on digital TV switch
- 613 - Don't believe the lies
- Email:Comcast and analog cable stories
- ↑ Section 3002 of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, Pub. L. No. 109-171, 120 Stat. 4 (February 8, 2006), amending the Communications Act of 1934, section 309(j)(14), codified at Template:Usc.
- ↑ FCC rule requires all new TVs to be digital. The Boston Globe (2007-02-26). Retrieved on 2007-04-24.
- ↑ FCC: Wireless Services: Lower 700 MHz. Federal Communications Commission (2004-10-28). Retrieved on 2007-05-09.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 The End of Analog Television
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