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"The Big Switch"

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Bunnylady

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Unless you've been living under a rock somewhere, surely you know by now that analog television signals will be history as of mid-February 2009. If you're like me, you're probably sick of the commercials informing you about it! Well, Wilmington is a test market for the new format. For us, the switch gets thrown on Sept. 8th. If you've got satellite or cable, or one of the newer TV's, it's no big deal. An estimated 25% of us have chosen not to go that route, for whatever reason (my household included.) If we want to continue to watch TV, we need a converter box. The government will send you coupons to reduce the price of the boxes (limit 2 per household,) but you have to register for them.

We jumped through the hoops, and got our coupons in July. Because of the test-market thing, our zip codes were given priority over the rest of the country. We decided to do a test of our own, and bought two different brands of the converters. I can't tell any difference between the two, myself, but the difference in the signal is significant. No more "snow," no more "ghosts," that part is wonderful! Some of our local stations have more than one progam running within their bandwidth (PBS has 5!). The downside is, your rabbit ears may not be enough to pull in a good signal. We live less than 20 miles from the transmission tower, and sometimes, we can't get a signal that is watchable. With analog, if the signal's a little weak, you get snow and a little static. With digital, the picture freezes and the sound drops out entirely! One of our sets is hooked up to a rooftop antenna, and it isn't much better. It's particularly bad on windy days, for some reason. With tropical systems brewing in the Atlantic, I'm a bit concerned about what this may mean for people that use the television to keep them abreast of the news. We will see what this season brings!
 
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Jill

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We've got fairly new flat screen TVs and Directv, so I think we are ready.

My grandmother has to get a new tv to be ready for it, though. I think my parents are taking her shopping for one this weekend (she is in her 80's -- and honestly mean as a snake).
 
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babygoose

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Our local news did a test a few weeks ago. They switched to digital for about 20 seconds so viewers could tell if they were set up or not. We failed. I am confused because we have Direct TV. Is it because we have an older television?
 

whitney

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I've been switched over for about 2 months, got the coupons 2 per household. I connected the converter boxes, piece of cake. The reception was kinda sketchy for the first 2 or 3 weeks but its better now. The only thing they are still tweeking in MI is the volumn between analog and digital. I love it. PBS has 5 channels and one of them is EquiTrekking a travel show with horses as the main theme, another is Create craft shows all day long.
 

Jill

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(she is in her 80's -- and honestly mean as a snake).
LOL to funny Jill. So are you saying you pity the poor salesman?
Haha! I do, but my parents even more so for having to take her shopping and to lunch
My mom takes her shopping once a week, and when I talk to her that evening, the first thing I ask is "was Grandmother on her good behavior?". This is her mother... I am happy my mom is a very nice and kind person and not much like her mother.
 

Shelley

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We have DirectTV so are pretty much all set, but we do have a couple TV's that

are not hooked up to it so I got 2 converter box coupons. Hubby hooked up the

TV that is in the dog grooming room, but I can't pull in NBC. If I want to watch

that channel, I have to turn the converter box off and pull the channel through the

rabbit ears only. Not sure what's up with that.

Shelley
 

Minimor

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Here in Canada the big switch isn't until August 31, 2011 so we have a bit more time. I read that by that date the converter boxes are expected to cost less than $100. What do you have to pay for one of them now?

Right now we just have an antenna--not sure if the TV is analog or digital...it's fairly new so I hope digital. Maybe by 2011 we'll decide to get cable.
 

susanne

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We got our coupons and boxes -- then learned that we now need to buy a new antenna (UHF/VHF) to get more than three idiotic channels.

If I had my way I'd do without, but someone else around here loves TV. Since it's here, I watch a few shows, but it annoys me to have to spend even more money on a time-waster.
 

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