Monday, 29 October 2007

Digital TV coverage maps

Find out what digital stations you can get with just an antenna and a new TV (or other ATSC tuner, like a TiVo HD) here.

1 comment:

Any views expressed in these comments are solely those of their authors; they do not reflect the views of the authors of Signifying Nothing, unless attributed to one of us.

When it comes to the digital transition, there are a few things nearly everyone is confused about and for good reason. Many of the misconceptions have been started and fueled by those trying to make a buck. Below is my response to an email sent by a visitor to my website. He was under the impression that a special HDTV antenna and an HDTV was necessary to get free over the air TV after the February 17th 2009 analog shutdown date.

The word HDTV antenna is used very loosely and it applies that there are special TV antennas for HDTV. The fact is HDTV is a format that provides a sharper picture, wider picture on the TV screen, but it’s more of a format then it is a signal. The type of signal that can carry the HDTV format is a digital signal. Digital signals for the most part are transmitted in the same manner as analog signals. The big difference between the two is the digital signal is data, 0’s and 1’s and it takes up a lot less frequency space to broadcast. Think of digital signal as a code that’s deciphered by the digital tuner. The same over the air frequencies are used to broadcast both analog and digital signals. However, the digital code is much more efficient and can fit in a smaller space. This allows digital signals to carry more information and provide you with sharper pictures, more channels, on screen programming guides, and who knows what in the future. To produce an HDTV picture requires more information be sent to the tuner and the analog signal can’t carry the amount of information required for HDTV, but the digital signal can.

TV antennas are designed to receive certain frequencies, VHF channels 2–13, UHF channels 14–69, or a combination of both VHF and UHF. Choosing a TV antenna for digital/HD reception is not much different then choosing an antenna for analog reception. Since digital signals are broadcast on both VHF and UHF frequencies just like analog, the same antennas are used to receive both the digital and analog signal. If you haven’t already, I suggest that you visit a page I wrote called “HDTV Antenna or Digital TV Antenna” – It doesn’t matter what you call it, it’s still a TV antenna and you better choose the right one.

Also, you don’t have to have an HDTV to receive the digital signals. I get upset when I hear people who are in a position of expertise say, “you have to have an HDTV to get TV after the analog shutdown in 2009”, this simply isn’t true. Just recently I heard these very words spoken by a guest expert on one of the network morning shows. To receive over the air TV after February 17th 2009 all you will need is a TV with a digital tuner built-in, not necessarily an HDTV. Although most HDTV‘s have digital tuners built-in and will receive the signal, there are standard TV’s available everywhere with built-in digital tuners for much less money, You can get a 27” digital TV that will work fine after the 2009 deadline, provide you with a better picture then your old analog set, for less then $200.00. You can also get a digital set top tuner for your current analog TV that will convert the digital signal back to analog signal for your current TV. The Federal government will soon be offering $40.00 coupons towards the purchase of a set top digital tuner. I can’t even imagine how much money is being wasted on HDTV‘s when the consumer would have been satisfied with a standard digital TV had they known. Yes, there are those who want HDTV, but many more are buying them because they think they have to.

The bottom line is, (1) HDTV antennas don’t exist and you don’t need a special TV antenna to receive digital broadcasts. (2). You don’t have to buy an HDTV to receive free over the air TV after the analog shutdown on February 17, 2009, a digital set top tuner for your current TV or a standard TV a DTV with a built-in tuner is all that’s needed.

Denny Duplessis
TV Antenna Source

Comments are now closed on this post.