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Switch from Analog to HDTV & What the Fuss is all About

November 24th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

The good news is that technology is improving for the better. The bad news is that not every household was prepared to accept it. What is this referring to? It’s none other than the big switch from analog to High-Definition Television or HDTV which occurred in 2009.

Why Switch from Analog to Digital in the First Place?

Have no idea on what the fuss about switching from analog to HDTV is all about? Here’s a brief background. When televisions were invented in the late 1940’s, the programs have been transmitted using analog signals. As you may already know, if you are using a typical TV antenna instead of paying for cable or satellite television, then the reception is usually not that good.

In 1996, the digital television format was introduced. What makes the all-digital form of television broadcasting more beneficial over analog is that it will free up the frequencies so that they can be used by the police, the fire departments and emergency rescue units. In addition, HDTV is a much more efficient form of transmission as far as the picture and sound quality that your television sets will produce. All in all, what the switch to HDTV does is to improve a viewer’s overall television viewing experience.

All about the 2009 HDTV Switch

For the past decade, you might have already been hearing about the transition from analog to digital television broadcasting. The HDTV transition has been mandated by Congress for quite some time now. In fact, it was during the early part of February of 2009 that a deadline was set for the switch. However, it was postponed because Congress feared – and was proven true – that more than 6 million households did not have HDTV-ready television system yet. However, President Barack Obama issued a statement a week prior to the deadline that there will be no delays to the HDTV switch anymore: it was set in stone for June 12.

Basically, all that you have to do to prepare for your television set to receive the digital signal is to purchase a DTV converter box which fits right on top of your old TV set. This is if your current entertainment system does not have a digital tuner. The DTV converter box has all the connections required so that an analog television will be able to receive new digital signals.

Once the DTV converter is setup and you have an analog television, you will be able to watch your favorite television programs with a much clearer picture quality. For those who already have television sets which have a built-in DTV tuner, you will get to enjoy a high-definition television viewing experience due to the improved signal quality offered by HDTV broadcasting.

How the Nation Responded

So how was the switch from analog to HDTV received in general? According to a survey conducted by the Harris Corporation which was released a day prior to the HDTV transition, 69% of the respondents felt that it will be good for them and their families. Another 55% of the respondents even said that will more than likely switch to TV antennas – choosing it over cable or satellite subscriptions – just so that they can take advantage of over-the-air HDTV transmission.

There may have been delays and problems with the ‘big switch’ at first, but all of it seemed to be well worth it in the end as more and more individuals appreciate the HDTV viewing experience with no additional costs for them – save for the money spent on the converter box for those who had analog TV tuners.

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