The HDTV Facts ... Simplified - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

The HDTV Facts ... Simplified


I've been told that when I turn on my old television on February 17, 2009, I'm going to be very upset, because I won't be able to see any television stations anymore.


My mother who has something called an "HD compatible" set won't be able to see them, either. But my neighbor who has a different type of HDTV will. And so will the other neighbor who subscribes to cable and has the same exact old television as I do.

If all this talk about HDTV is confusing you, you're definitely not alone. Even television professionals and the folks who are making the laws about this big television conversion are finding out that HDTV is confusing to them.

Well, WAFB Channel 9 is going to try to explain it to you as simply and as clearly as possible, so before you buy your next television, here is some information you should know.

First, The Short, Basic, General Explanation:

If you have an old TV and do not subscribe to a cable or satellite system ...

It's true. You won't be able to see a single thing on your television. That's because the new signal that is used to send television signals from February 17, 2009 on will not work with your old television.

If you have a regular old TV and you do subscribe to a cable or satellite system ...

You will be able to see all the television shows you like to watch. That's because the cable companies will keep the same signal as you're getting now. Just know that it won't look as good as the new HDTV sets.

If you want to keep your old tv ...

You will have to purchase something called a converter box. It will connect only to your old TV and not the newer digital TV's. This converter box will convert the new HD signal to what you are now used to. These converter boxes will cost about $60 per old television set. Currently, a federal program being worked on by Congress called the NTIA is planning to give each household $40 coupons to use on up to two converter boxes per household. That means it would cost you $20 on the first two old TV's you hook the boxes up to and $60 for each old TV set after that.

If you already own a TV set that's "HD compatible or HD Ready"...

You will have to purchase something called an ATSC Tuner. That's because the new tv set you bought actually has the old NTSC tuner in it so you can currently get the regular signal you've been getting for the last 60+ years, until the big switch is made.

If you have a new HDTV that has an ATSC Tuner listed on the instruction papers included in your set ...

You are totally "good to go" and will be able to see everything on February 17, 2009 and sooner.

Powered by Frankly