In the recent months having conversations with people about the upcoming switch over to DTV made me realize how much confusion there still exists. Itís not the scope of this post to provide details on the technical aspects of DTV since there is plenty of information out there about that.
In the US the change to Digital Television (DTV) is scheduled for February 17,2009 and August 31,2011 in Canada.
What this means is that on those dates the television stations broadcasting free ď over-the air ď (OTA) signals are to switch off the analog channels and continue broadcasting with the free digital format.
This will not have any affect on cable or satellite subscribers.
Analog is the format that television broadcasting has been using since the beginning and the conventional television sets are designed to work with.
When the switch occurs to DTV a convertor will be required to decode the DTV signal in order to view on a regular TV set.
In other words you do not have to buy a new TV just a set top DTV box.
The antenna that may be currently used will still work perfectly fine with DTV Ö contrary to some marketing hype.
If the decision is made to purchase a new TV ensure that it has an ATSC (Advanced Television Systems Committee) tuner. This is what is required for the DTV over-the-air (OTA) format.
Another misconception or confusion is that DTV automatically means that everything will be high definition HDTV Ö. thatís not true.
Here are a couple of very good links :
Hope this helps.