539 days from today analog broadcasting will stop. Should you worry?

August 27, 2007

Not if you are prepared.

If you didn’t know it already, February 17, 2009 is the day when 2,000 local television affiliates turn off their analog broadcast signals and go all digital broadcast all of the time. Ouch…! Does that mean our televisions will all go dark? Is it tantamount to a government imposed Armageddon? Will school get cancelled? Will David Letterman have to mail out tonight’s Top 10 List using the Pony Express? Nope. There is no reason to panic.

How does it affect you? If you are a cable or satellite customer, it doesn’t. [Skip to the last part of the Blog.] If by some chance you have a television sitting somewhere (and you actually watch it) that isn’t connected to cable or satellite then yes, that TV will go dark…actually it will play static. While I’ve heard pundit after pundit speculate as to how many of these sets are actually out there, I don’t think anyone really has a clue. My guess is not too many. Still, we are a pretty big country.

If by chance you have one of those analog televisions connected to an antenna or rabbit ears then you have the following options:

  1. subscribe to cable or satellite
  2. purchase converter box (about $50, to be subsidized by our government)
  3. throw away (recycle) your analog television(s), purchase a new digital television

The more important development with regard to February 17, 2009 is the impact digital will have on our lives. That impact will come from the local television stations we’ve come to know and trust in our lifetimes…and a few we may not have seen for a while.

Digital quite honestly means digital and that means better than analog. If they haven’t already, your favorite local stations will go to full digital power when they turn off their analog signals. When this happens, if you have an antenna installed (perhaps hidden in your attic), your choices for FREE over-the-air network and local programming will go up dramatically.

Case in point: Look on a map of the U.S. for Lansing, MI. See how it sits in the middle of the Great State of Michigan? People in Lansing, if they can’t already, will get channels from the east from Detroit and from the west from Grand Rapids. More channels will mean you get more content. This phenomenon is already happening and will continue to happen. That fact alone makes our patented antenna selector technology, currently deployed by the CEA at www.antennaweb.org, all the more valuable. Yes, there are only 539 days left, but don’t panic just yet. As for what channels, what content and which antenna you need, the team at Titan is here to help.