Preparing for the February 17th digital switchover

Woke up this morning and see that CNN.com has a front page story on the digital tv switchover.

They mention the February 17th, 2009 switchover date and discuss the impact this will have on over-the-air TV viewers like us.   The article confirms many of the things we have been blogging about over the past year, including better picture, more channels and the ability to access HD content for free.

They mention how some people in remote areas may have problems with reception with standard antennas but discuss how broadcasters will attempt to boost digital signals starting on the transition day.

It’s a good solid article and tells people how to get the $40 government coupons and check availability.

And perhaps the most important point, they stress that broadcasters are already transmitting digital signals today and that there is no need to wait until the 2/17/09 to get ready for the switchover.

Our advice? If you are currently using broadcast TV, or are even considering canceling cable tv, take a minute and request a free $40 coupon from the government before they run out.   Then pickup an entry level digital converter box and test out your reception before the actual switchover takes place.   This will give you time to finetune things in advance of the changeover.

One thought on “Preparing for the February 17th digital switchover

  1. I am not sure where I heard this—but I have heard that there is possibly going to be some forced hands on lowering cable bills because so many of the channels people pay for will soon be free to see (so to speak). Have you heard anything about that?????

    We currently just pay for basic cable (channels 1-25 and TBN, MTV, and VH1)which is $20 a month for us. We were paying for expanded but decided to drop it.

    However, we live in the hills of WV and according to the websites we have visited it looks like we will still only likely get pbs and NBC with an antenna and the box.

    We have ordered the coupon in hopes we will possibly reach more, but I am curious if the cable bill could possibly drop in price because of people’s access to more free channels.

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