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Analog shutdown - Molly's Comments

by FredAgain / March 12, 2008 10:11 AM PDT

Why did Molly say in episode 678 that it is NOT true that the analog signal would be shut down. In fact, it IS true that the ANALOG signal will be shutdown. There will then be only a DIGITAL signal available over the airwaves, and unless your TV has an ATSC tuner, or a converter box, those "rabbit ears" will not pick up the signal.

According to Wikipedia "The FCC has notified U.S. television broadcasters that the standard for transmitting TV over-the-air shall change from analog to digital".

Did I miss something?

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Yeah, I was confused about that too.
by navsimpson / March 12, 2008 12:45 PM PDT

I'm not in the States, but I thought the whole point was to shut off those frequencies and open them up for other uses?

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she misspoke...
by thriftyT / March 12, 2008 1:42 PM PDT

...I think. I heard what you heard she said too.

Let's just keep it simple. Here's the dilio:

- analog over-the-air broadcasts will disappear in 2009.
- digital over-the-air broadcasts are already in effect and will continue.
- analog through cable will continue through and possibly past 2009.*

*sorry, can't keep it simple here. I haven't heard a good explanation of what is really going to happen here. From what I understand, MOST cable companies will continue to provide analog cable, but I'm not sure if they are obligated to. And if they're not obligated to provide analog, how long can it possibly last? Cable companies, along with retailers, have a financial interest in pushing digital transmission. As discussed in BOL, stories abound of customer service reps and sales reps telling the white lie that analog won't exist at all soon...but is it really a lie? For all intents and purposes analog will be dead.

Back to keeping it simple:
For all but the most financially strapped, do yourselves a favor and just buy a new HDTV. All HDTVs sold in the US today have the necessary ATSC (digital) tuner which a) will be future-proof and b) will put your mind at ease and let you zone out whenever someone like Molly or Tom or Jason starts talking about the "analog-to-digital transition".

I know the economy is tough. But a 19" LCD HDTV can be had for about $250 now. 26" LCD HDTVs can be had for less than $600. For this relatively small outlay, you'll get a future-proof reliable TV that will serve you well for a minimum of 5 years. (Consumer Reports recently noted that LCDs compared favorably against Plasmas and projection TVs for durability/reliability) As a bonus, you'll get the crisp, clear High Definition picture.

The alternative is to pay ~$40-$75 for an analog-to-digital converter which gives you the "privilege" of continuing to use your old TV. Or go through the process of applying/waiting for that federal coupon to get a rebate for said analog-to-digital converter.

Take it from a tightwad. 2008 is the year to buy a new TV.

-end rant-

Thrifty Techie

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by Natronx / March 12, 2008 2:18 PM PDT
In reply to: she misspoke...

I just got a 42" LCD HDTV for $750. Deals are out there if you look hard enough.

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It's only a problem in emergencies
by PortVista-190953130350169 / March 12, 2008 10:49 PM PDT
In reply to: she misspoke...

What sucks is that a lot of people have these portable TV's used when the power goes out to keep them updated on weather and other events. In fact the law was analog TV's under 13" were allowed to be sold for a long time after they made it illegal to sell bigger analog sets. That's the real issue here, getting static in an emergency because you forgot to upgrade your portable TV.

Frankly who cares about the people who miss their favorite sitcom one night because they weren't informed.

As for as analog signal on cable, well I hate digital cable. You need a separate box for each TV and they are almost impossible to use and flip through the channels.

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In an emergency
by PressAnyKey / March 12, 2008 10:56 PM PDT

I've reached for a portable radio, not a portable television. So we'll probably be okay in that regard...

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