Transition to Digital TV

Are broadcasters and viewers ready for the switch?


After years of delays, the nation's full-power television stations are facing a deadline of Feb. 17, 2009, to switch from traditional analog broadcasting to all-digital. Digital TV promises viewers better-quality pictures and sound. The switch also frees up valuable room on the electromagnetic spectrum for wireless communications, including emergency transmissions. Broadcasters will be able to offer more programming and to match the digital signals of subscription cable and satellite services. But viewers with older TV sets and no cable or satellite connection must buy special converter boxes to continue receiving most over-the-air channels after the switch. The government is offering $40 coupons to help viewers pay for the boxes, but many people are still confused. And some stations may have reduced coverage with digital signals. ...

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