Analog TV will be going digital in 2009
The age of analog continues to diminish as television airwaves are on their way to becoming digitally broadcasted.
According to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s Web site, the change to digital TV will start Feb. 17, 2009. This means older televisions that only receive analog signals with antennas will be unusable without the adding a digital converter box.
There are two $40 coupons available per household to those who qualify through an application at DTV’s Web site. They are designed to help low-income families pay for the converter box. The coupons will begin shipping on Feb. 17, exactly one year before TV goes digital.
While the government is attempting to make the transition as easy as possible for the public, some believe it is still an expensive transition.
“I think it’s a big deal because some people who can’t afford the converter for $60 can’t afford it for $20 either. It should just be free for anyone who qualifies for the coupon, or the discount should be decided on an individual basis,” said Leland Kelce, a sophomore business major.
According to Best Buy’s Web site, there will be the an Insignia digital converter box for $59.99 before using a coupon. Best Buy’s phone number, 1-888-Best-Buy, also has an option for people to ask questions about the transition to digital TV.
The FCC plans for the switch to digital from analog TV to free up the 700 MHz band. The band will instead be used for wireless communications for both consumers and emergency services. The 700 Mhz band is currently being bid on and has the interest of most major wireless communications companies, including Google.
The FCC is hoping to let the market decide who will take the initiative to start expanding the use of the 700MHz spectrum. However, the commission has already declared that the band space will be open access, so no company will have complete control over it.
The transition is not affecting many CU students because many already have a TV that can support the digital input. Jeff Spiegel, sophomore psychology major, believes the spectrum will be used more efficiently after the transition.
“I don’t know anyone that has an analog TV and still uses it. I bet for $60, you could probably find a usable TV on Craig’s List or eBay,” Spiegel said.
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Andrew Nute at Andrew.Nute@colorado.edu.
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