In case you were wondering why your TV has been showing nothing but static, as of June 12, 2009 all full-power stations converted their signal to digital format. The change was part of a federal law designed to upgrade the quality and interactivity of traditional TV broadcasting. Fortunately, the transition from analog to digital is not hard to make and it doesn't have to be expensive.
A New TV With a Digital Tuner
You can start watching television in the digital format by buying a new TV with a digital tuner. Digital tuners are now standard with TVs, but it still makes sense to check and make sure you are not buying an analog throwback. Depending on your budget and interests, you could take full advantage of digital TV and buy a high-definition, or HD, television. HD televisions provide superior image quality, which is only possible now that digital TV is available.
If you do not want to buy a new television, you can buy a converter box. This is the cheapest way to convert your old analog TV to digital. Connect the converter box between the antenna and the analog TV. Many converter boxes also offer additional features, such as automatic channel searching and settings that guarantee you'll use broadcast television stations with the best reception.
Antenna and Cable
Even though you convert from analog to digital, you will still need an antenna unless you purchase a cable TV subscription. Digital signals require an antenna that can handle UHF and VHF signals. Before you run to the local electronics shop, check if your old antenna wont work. You will also need a new cable to connect the converter box to your TV.
An alternative to converting to digital broadcasting is to side-step the entire issue by contracting a cable service with a cable TV provider. This will not only provide you access to digital broadcasting but also to hundreds of premium channels, voice over internet protocol phone alternatives and even the Internet, if you buy into a package deal.
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