jmichael wrote:Well, when the switch-over happens you will still be able to get free television (the major networks, PBS, local stations, etc). Digital broadcasts can be picked up via a digital antenna, just like your tv now can pick up off-air signals.
By 2009, all new tvs will need to have built-in digital recievers so you won't need a new piece of equiptment (other than perhaps an antenna) to get broadcasts.
It will also be possible for people who don't want, or can't afford to, buy new digital TVs to keeps their old analog sets and just buy a digital antenae with converter. They're supposed to be cheap.
I wasn't expecting to, but last December wound up buying a 32" LCD HDTV because they were so cheap, only $599 at walmart.com. I was afraid I might have been throwing my money away, but I lucked out. Turns out I have a great TV with really good blacks and contrast.
There's a big new Walmart 200ft from my frontdoor, and they let you make returns within 90 days for any reason whatsoever. I wanted to compare my set to another one on their website that had a PC input, so I ordered a second TV to be able to compare the two side by side with the loser going back to the store. The first set blew the other one away, so now I'm content.
The thing I'm most bothered by is how bad SD channels look, some worse than others. I'm hoping the switchover to all digital will improve the signals on all SD (Standard Definition) channels. I really blame my cable company since they have a reputation for sucking bigtime, here in the East Texas boondocks. I upgraded my cable service to get just a few HD channels that are frequently off-air.
The best thing about this new set is that DVDs look stunning. Money well spent, since it replace a very old 20" piece of junk. But now I can't even look at a "regular TV" anymore because I'm distracted by the big dots.