Technical Question Here: About The Digital TV Thing A Ma Jig

@pyewacket (44036)
United States
July 23, 2008 11:29pm CST
Okay I often pride myself in being a bit technically inclined...LOL. As you know all TV signals are going High Definition Digital in February 2009. Now people with cable connection (and I guess satellite) don't have to worry or do anything. But us folks that don't have cable have to get that converter gizmo to upgrade their TVs..like me since I use rabbit ears. My dinky TV is technically speaking "digital" but I don't think it's the kind of digital needed that has an internal digital tuner...haven't noticed any, anyway. I got the TV maybe five years ago. I'm actually wondering if just getting a new TV would work, but here's the rub...since I would still have to rely on an antenna even with a new TV would I still need to get the converter?....Dazed and confused.
3 people like this
18 responses
@jerzgirl (8037)
• Gloucester City, New Jersey
24 Jul 08
Hi Def was very expensive 5 years ago - I doubt you have Hi Def. But, you may be OK with what you have if it really is digital. It just won't get HiDef. I looked at this web page and it says that people who use rabbit ears have analog sets, not digital (which almost seems to mean yours isn't digital) and will need converter boxes. The phrase they use is "sets having only analog tuners". So, if yours is really digital, you might be OK - you'll have to be sure. Here's the link - http://www.dtv.gov/whatisdtv.html Check this page out for the questions you ask - http://www.dtv.gov/consumercorner.html I'm going to request those coupons because Mom has an old B&W in her bedroom and doesn't want cable in there. She goes to bed and watches the news and uses it as a nightlight when she has to get up during the night. The rest of the house has cable, so the converter boxes aren't an issue.
@webeishere (36353)
• United States
24 Jul 08
Any TV manufactured before 2007 are analog and after 2007 most have a digital convertor built in. HAPPY POSTINGS FROM GRANDPA BOB !!~
3 people like this
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
24 Jul 08
Most likely my TV really is analog then since I got it about five or six years ago..it does say "digital" but that really doesn't mean anything I'm guessing. I mean not the kind of digital with that built in tuner..drat...long time ago I came across the manual for the TV...put it in a "safe" place..which of course means it'll be a year before I find it..would like to read the specifics of the TV
@jerzgirl (8037)
• Gloucester City, New Jersey
25 Jul 08
According to the government, after the decision to stop analog was made, some manufacturers made TVs with BOTH kinds of tuners in them. By law, products can't call themselves something they're not. Do you still have your owner's papers? See what they say. There came a date that analog tuners were no longer allowed to be put in TVs at all, but they ARE allowed to sell remaining stock until the new law kicks in. I'm betting a lot of places will be selling a combination of TVs AND converters together to get rid of stock. But, yours might be what it says.
1 person likes this
@ElicBxn (60894)
• United States
24 Jul 08
My understanding is that they will be broadcasting in digital instead of analog - so if your tv IS digital, it should still pick up the new signals fine.
3 people like this
@ElicBxn (60894)
• United States
25 Jul 08
Hey, if I had a few hundred dollars, I might get a new TV - after the new car and new computer and new..... As I stand right now - the TV in front of me I got off of Freecycle and works great!
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
25 Jul 08
Hehe...first things first...going to order that bed and mattress tomorrow...before I pitter away the money on non essentials...LOL
@Lakota12 (42684)
• United States
24 Jul 08
sorry but yes ya will unless you get hooked to cable
3 people like this
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
24 Jul 08
Crap...LOL So I'd be wasting my time (and money) getting a new TV?
2 people like this
@webeishere (36353)
• United States
24 Jul 08
No you would not waste your money. If you buy a Digital TV you will get the signals and not need cable etc or the box. S digital TV ias set up to accept the new digital signals. HAPPY POSTINGS FROM GRANDPA BOB !!~
2 people like this
@Lakota12 (42684)
• United States
24 Jul 08
ok SOunds like I Am wrong I didnt under stand it that way. I understood that if ya had cable or satalite you would be fine other than that ya had to get cable. I think this is very qwrong to do for alot of people cant afford it thats why they use anttenes (sp)
1 person likes this
@Vladilyich1 (1454)
• Canada
24 Jul 08
You'll need an external decoder. The government is subsidizing them initially. You can find the programs on the web to get coupons that are good at any store that will be selling the boxes. After February, your TV will no longer work.
3 people like this
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
25 Jul 08
It's not like I watch that much TV to begin with, but sure would hate to lose my chances of watching anything
2 people like this
@webeishere (36353)
• United States
24 Jul 08
Ifu buy a HDTV then a box is not needed. But the rabbit ears may be needed. We got the box hooked up in the bedroom and I was amazed that the local channels actually have a few different shows in HD. Like chanell 11a 11b etc etc. The convertors really helped a lot with our reception. It really doesn't need the rabbit ears but they do help. You'll love it. HAPPY POSTINGS FROM GRANDPA BOB !!~
@webeishere (36353)
• United States
24 Jul 08
http://www.digitallanding.com/TV-HDTV/article_display.cfm/article_id/4543 Surf this site for a lot of answers about Digital TV. HAPPY POSTINGS FROM GRANDPA BOB !!~
3 people like this
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
24 Jul 08
Those HDTVs aren't exactly cheap though..I don't exactly need a super duper widescreen one....what brand would you recommend anyway? My first priority in buying anything is that new bed/mattress...then I'll take it from there and see how much of the green stuff I have left over
2 people like this
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
24 Jul 08
Thanks ever for that link...great info there....if no one else comes up with a better answer you've won yourself a br...hehee
3 people like this
@GardenGerty (104102)
• United States
24 Jul 08
I do not know about that, but my daughter got hers and has always refused cable. She gets a whole lot more channels now with her converter box, and no cable. She ordered the coupons online to save $40. They got theirs for ten each. Mine will cost more, because around here the only place than can guarantee to get them is Radio Shack, but it will be shipped directly to our house.
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
24 Jul 08
Why is Radio Shack more? I have one near me in case I got to get a converter..how much more???
2 people like this
@GardenGerty (104102)
• United States
25 Jul 08
With tax they were about fourteen dollars more each than at any other store. It was, however, the only local place that had any hope of getting us any any time soon. They may be a higher quality than Wal Mart. We did not even get a quote from Sears because they said they were not even allowed to order them, just take them when the company sent them. It may because they were shipped directly to our house. We did this last week. We got one today. When or if you request the coupon or certificate for the $40 off, once you get it, you have to use it within ninety days. It also has online sources for them and what local stores should carry the converters.
1 person likes this
@BarBaraPrz (21043)
• St. Catharines, Ontario
24 Jul 08
You and me, both. All I know is that Canadian signals will still be available a little longer (can't remember when we switch, just that it'll be later, maybe a year).
2 people like this
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
24 Jul 08
Hehe...can't help wonder if this is a ploy on TV manufacturers and or cable companies to get us to get new TVs or get cable..LOL
1 person likes this
@BarBaraPrz (21043)
• St. Catharines, Ontario
25 Jul 08
Well, it's to free up airspace for wireless devices... there's just too many dang cellphones and Blackberries etc. out there!
1 person likes this
24 Jul 08
Hi pye, In this day and everything is Digital, if you hanve not got cable you have to get converter because if you don't all those channel you are getting will be no more, you won't be able to get any channels so yes you will have to get digital, we have sattellite at the moment and digital box upstairs but we cannot get the channels as it not in our area yet. Now it going H.D so we will have to get a new t.v. set a flat screen one because we have old one that is about ten years old, need a chane now I supposed. All this new technology I cannot keep up, good luck with your one. Bright Blessings. Tamara
2 people like this
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
25 Jul 08
This would be a good way for TV manufacturers to get richer if people decided to get new tvs that will conform to the new HD signals...LOL
1 person likes this
@rowantree (1190)
• United States
25 Jul 08
I skimmed, don't recall this issue being addressed here. Since cable and satellite charge extra for digital channels right now, what is going to happen in February? In all the articles that have been printed in the newspaper and online, I have yet to find someone who is willing to address this! Maybe I'm just looking in the wrong places? We have satellite right now, but 1 tv isn't hooked up. If I buy a converter box, will I receive all the digital channels?
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
27 Jul 08
If you have cable or satellite you won't even have to worry about any kind of converter....it's only for us folks that don't have cable or satellite and use rabbit ears to get reception. The cable/satellite will automatically switch to the HD-digital signals on February 9, 2009..so you should be safe there. The one TV of yours NOT hooked up to satellite you'll have to get the converter
@rowantree (1190)
• United States
27 Jul 08
So...if I don't have cable or satellite and I purchase a converter box, in February I will receive, for free, all of the digital channels that cable subscribers are currently paying for?
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
28 Jul 08
Goodness no! You'll only get the "no frills" channels that one gets without cable..like ABC, NBC, CBS and whatever else like PBS channels ...I sure miss cable....haven't had it in years...used to love watching the History, Discovery and Bravo channels..
@brunogar (32)
• United States
24 Jul 08
i herd that wont work, idk thou, but wouldnt it be cheaper to buy a converter box than a tv?
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
25 Jul 08
I guess...my TV is kind of old to begin with...wouldn't hurt to get a new one anyway..LOL
• United States
25 Jul 08
lol i get wat ur saying just alittle while ago i had a 10 inch tv, was i shoked when my dad bought a plasma lol
1 person likes this
@rowantree (1190)
• United States
27 Jul 08
I did a little checking and an article I read stated that yes, you will still need your antenna AND you may need a better antenna to deal with the digital reception. Unfortunately, I read another article that outlined the problems they had with a converter box. Their problem was that the local station was sending very weak digital signals and therefore the user wasn't able to watch tv at all and ended up buying a satellite package. I think if you're in a major city you probably won't have this problem but the newer antenna would be something to look into.
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
28 Jul 08
Well thank goodness I do live in the NYC area so signals shouldn't be a problem for me. I'm just concerned though with my DVD player..one poster here said she got the converter and now has problems with her DVD player..sheesh
@Aussies2007 (5339)
• Australia
26 Jul 08
If you buy a digital television... you obviously don't need a converter. But digital TVs are still very pricey in Australia. And many people have bought converters. You even need a converter if you have cable or satellite. The antenna or cable is receiving the digital signal and is plugged into the converter in order for your television to receive and interpret that new signal. In other words, you are converting the television... not the antenna. If you wait a while... the price of digital televisions is sure to come down when everyone rush out to buy one. Those converters should get cheaper as well.
@stvasile (7317)
• Romania
25 Jul 08
I'm sorry, I don't have this kind of technical knowledge...
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
27 Jul 08
That's okay
@youdontsay (3503)
• United States
25 Jul 08
We use rabbit ears and got the boxes. When my grown daughter came to visit I had her hook it all up - I'm technically impaired! It really improved the picture on most stations. But the ones with low power break up pretty badly. I'm wondering if they are going to boost their power by February 09. After the kids went home to W.Va. we watched a dvd, had a little trouble with pushing all the right buttons but finally got to watch the movie. Then the t.v. wouldn't shut off with the digital remote. Now the remote on that one doesn't work at all. We can turn the set on and off manually but it won't change to all the channels, just the main ones. I've tried to reprogram the remote according the the instructions, but nothing helps. It is very frustrating to be among the "elderly" in regard to electronics. I'm pretty smart - have an IQ in the 130's - but I swear I just can't make all this new stuff work! I guess I'll just have to wait for my kids to come visit again!
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
27 Jul 08
Yikes you mean the converters "do" something and mess up with the DVDs?? drat!
@raydene (9874)
• United States
25 Jul 08
Honey you must call or email the government to get a voucher to upgrade it. I have heard that some are low cost or you may be able to get it free. They advertize on tv all the time. xoxoxoxo
1 person likes this
@littleowl (7157)
25 Jul 08
Hi Pye-I think you would have to get a didgital converter they aren't much but not being technologocally minded that way hopefully someone else will give you some proper feed back-bb littleowl
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
27 Jul 08
It's kind of a toss up..from what I understand many of the newer tvs have that built in "converter" in them...so it's either get a new tv or just get the converter...my tv is rather old now and might conk out soon anyway...LOL
@winterose (39918)
• Canada
29 Jul 08
I think you need a converter if you are not hooked up to cable or satellite connection, I am going to need a new tv because mine is going now, but in Canada we don't change over until 2011.
@1grnthmb (2063)
• United States
28 Jul 08
First question to return to you. Is your tv labeled HDTV? If so then you have another question to answer. That is does it say compatible or does it say ready? If it is just compatible then you still need the decoder. If it says ready then it should have the decoder built into it. But then just to make it more confusing, even some of the ones labeled HDTV ready still need the decoder. Now if you do not know about what you have then go to dtv.gov or dtv2009.gov . They also offer a coupon with a $40 value to help in purchasing the converter boxes. I have seen them at Walmart for $19.95 so the government well be buying the box for you. Now if you just decide to buy a new tv you still need to find out if it is HDTV and also has the built in decoder. What a pain it is.