Is this the end of free t.v.?

United States
November 23, 2007 12:54pm CST
I have been seeing these commericals that say by 2009, all t.v. broadcasts will be digital and if you don't have cable or satellite t.v., you will need to Buy a converter.It sounds like the end of free t.v.That's all the networks need, the lost of more viewers.I don't know how much these converters will cost but if it is too expensive,people won't buy it.
6 people like this
16 responses
@jend80 (2068)
23 Nov 07
no such thing as free tv here - unless your over 80 or don't pay your tv license and risk having to pay the fine.
• United States
23 Nov 07
A t.v. license?How does that work?
1 person likes this
• United States
26 Nov 07
No licenses are needed to watch t.v. here in the States.You go to the store and buy a t.v.If you want cable, you order cable and the company comes and installs it.The cost depends on the company and how many channels you want. But if you don't want cable, then you just set up the t.v. and you can watch all the over the air channels until 2009.
• United States
23 Nov 07
Aren't there any digital antennas? Sounds sad to me. That means the nondigital antennas will no longer pick up any tv shows or anything like that. Well you could always just go to the past to watch free TV.
3 people like this
• Norway
24 Nov 07
The antennas will work, as long as you got a digital decoder between the antenna and your tv set.
@ctrymuziklvr (11063)
• United States
23 Nov 07
Free tv? I can't remember the last time it was really free. As it stands now if we don't have cable we can't really get any stations worth watching so how is that free?
• United States
23 Nov 07
My family got cable t.v. back in 1981 and we never looked back.A few years back we upgraded to digital so I guess we are safe but I was wondering what would happen when this conversion will happen.
1 person likes this
• United States
23 Nov 07
Yeah, if you already have digital cable, you probably won't even notice it when the switch happens, except to hear the rest of us complain about having to upgrade our equipment. :-)
2 people like this
• United States
24 Nov 07
I am getting angry about for you already.
1 person likes this
• United States
23 Nov 07
In February of '09, all analog signals will be phased out and broadcasts will only be in digital. What it means is that there will be no more analog broadcasts, which is what most antennas recieve now. If you use an antenna, you would just have to buy a digital antenna (and posssibly something to convert the signal to analog if your TV is older than 4 or 5 years. The convertor and/or digital antenna will cost you money, but you can still recieve the broadcast signals over the air for free after the switch once you have them. Also, if you have regular cable as opposed to digital cable, you are still recieving an analog signal just through your cable, once the switch happens, you would have to go to digital cable, which would require a digital-ready TV or for you to add a convertor. Satellite TV is already digital, so those folks won't really be affected. Most networks already broadcast in digital as well as analog you just need a digital antenna to pick them up.(all those shows that have the little symbol saying they are also broadcast in HD? those are the digital signals). And pretty much all TVs that are being sold now are able to process digital signals internally, so no convertor would be needed.
2 people like this
• United States
23 Nov 07
But you still have to Buy the converter or Buy a new t.v. or you won't be able to watch "free" t.v.
1 person likes this
• United States
23 Nov 07
Well, you had to buy a TV and an antenna in the first place to watch the broadcasts you have now; so I guess you aren't getting "free" TV now if you look at it that way. I'm just saying that there will still be over-the-air broadcasts that you don't have to suscribe to in order to recieve.
2 people like this
• United States
24 Nov 07
All I can say is Thank G-d I have digital cable. I won't have to pay anymore than I do already.
1 person likes this
@Sillychick (3282)
• United States
24 Nov 07
When the conversion from analog to digital happens, the networks will still be free and available to people who don't have cable. You will need to have a digital TV or a converter in order to get reception. I read an article in the newspaper that mentioned the price of the converter will be around $40, but there was a rumor that the government may subsidise in order to bring the cost down to around $25. Not sure what the cost will actually be, but it sounds like it won't be that much.
2 people like this
• United States
24 Nov 07
I forgot to mention that even people who have cable will need a converter.
2 people like this
• United States
24 Nov 07
Even if it is 25.00, it may be too expensive for some households.Wow I just thought of something. This may be the best thing for shows that you can see online.T.V 's lost will be the net's gain.
1 person likes this
@eyewitness (1580)
• Netherlands
24 Nov 07
I also heard they will build something digital which people need HD tv for and only that kind of tv's so people who are having old tv's will be forced to buy a new and very expensive tv's/ I think it's madness and stealing from the poor who can't efford a new television. But we can't stop this because they do whatever they want to receive more and more money.
• United States
25 Nov 07
That just it. The non cable networks will lose viewership.If people can't afford these new t.v.s they won't be watching t.v.
1 person likes this
• United States
24 Nov 07
I haven't heard of this yet, or just haven't been paying attention. It is kind of scary to think that we might have to pay more for our TV shows than we already do for cable and electricity. If they are sending out coupons it does make you wonder just how expensive these things are going to be.
2 people like this
• United States
25 Nov 07
If you have cable you should be okay. The commerical was talking to people that don't have cable.
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40326)
• Canada
23 Nov 07
I do not know about the States but to buy a cable box costs between $450 to $700 depending on whether you just want to watch or to record. On top of that, there is the digital program that costs from $25 to $120 depending on whether to get a basic or everything included. At least they are giving you warning, so that you can save for the converters or rent them. We have never had free Tv since the antennas. We had to buy the old cable box and that cost, and then the digital cable box which we still have and the hDTV cable box that is what we use now.
2 people like this
• United States
24 Nov 07
Wow!Down here it would cost you a fee to get cable but you never had to buy the cable box.Cable costs between 70.00- 100.00 a month, depending on which package you pick.Digital cable is closer to the 100.00 a month and you can get a DvR box that is digital.
1 person likes this
@anniepa (26616)
• United States
23 Nov 07
I've seen those commercials too and I've seen where they give you a number to call or a website to get coupons to save on either a converter or the cost of cable, I'm really not sure. I knew it would come to this eventually but I didn't know it would be this soon! People who can't afford cable or live somewhere it's not available will be out of luck, I guess! I haven't heard what the cost will be or howit will affect those that already have cable or satellite TV. I'm sure it's not going to be free for anyone! Annie
• United States
23 Nov 07
If you already have cable or satellite, then you will be okay, your t.v. won't change.What gets me is the offer of a coupon. How expensive is it that they are offering a coupon?
1 person likes this
@jillhill (37354)
• United States
24 Nov 07
I am kind of mystified by that.....why should be have to pay for everything....it's just another way to soak the consumer!
2 people like this
• United States
24 Nov 07
I'm aware of this digital t.v. change, but in my research, I've found that the digital converters are not that expensive, and they now have digital indoor/outdoor antennas that could replace cable service. Of course, that depends on how the digital antenna works in your area. I'm seriously considering getting one because digital cable is too expensive, and I hardly watch T.V.,anyway.
@furion1 (274)
• Philippines
24 Nov 07
Digital Television? Sounds like a good idea but I think there will still be free tv. Networks are competing in having more viewers so I think they will find a way. If their broadcast won't be free, then they lose viewers, then when they lose them, the network business will drop. So if using digital tv makes them lose money, why convert? Maybe the converter will be expensive but that's technology. It simply means it is better than cable! Maybe, in the future, the tv will have a built-in converter or something. I do agree that if it is too expensive, then no one will buy it.
2 people like this
@nangel78 (1459)
• United States
24 Nov 07
We get HD tv broadcasted on our local stations now. We actually get more channels than we did on analog and we do not have cable. So maybe you do not have to have cable or satellite to get this.
2 people like this
• United States
24 Nov 07
You think they will cut out even local channels like channel 12 and 6 stuff like that?? man that will suck really bad thats all i have now.lol cable is expensive down here basic is like 60 bucks a month..used to beable to afford it but not anymore.. i hope hope hope that they atleast let us get the two chennels,there probally doing it so people cannot steal the cable anymore.
• United States
26 Nov 07
Sounds to me like the folks preaching gloom about buying converters are not taking into account all the computers out there. Computers ARE converters. Computers have digital monitors, people are turning to them for TV viewing. * Besides, the converters they do sell will be cheap because the broadcasters want folks glued to the tube. Not that the fat boobs will be out there in huge numbers any more, many stores aren't selling them as we chat. *
• United States
26 Nov 07
The people I am thinking about don't have computers at home and regardless how " cheap" the converters are, they are on very tight budget and can't afford them.T.V.'s lost is computers gain because if you do have a computer, you will see your shows on it instead of t.v.
1 person likes this
• United States
27 Nov 07
2009's digital conversion = a file-sharing storm - will bring about a file-sharing storm of both legal and non-legal variety.
Your right of course. * And as far as your other point...file-sharing of legal and illegal variety is going to EXPLODE! Any network who ignores the Net will loose out big time.
22 Aug 08
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