My High Def Life: Switching to Digital

by Erica Sadun

The death of US Analog TV is scheduled to take place on the 19th of February, 2009. After that date, all US TV programming will be broadcast digitally. AOL reports that the National Telecommunications and Information Administration will offer every US household up to two $40 coupons that residents can apply to purchasing set-top converter boxes that will translate digital signals into analog format, so people can continue to watch their TVs using free over-the-air signals.

The article suggests that the NTIA plans to offer up to 33,750 coupons. That's just a wee bit short of the 73 million TVs in America--even if most of those TVs are already hooked up to cable or satellite.

My parents and most of my relatives and friends are completely unaware of the upcoming analog-to-digital revolution. I wonder how well this NTIA plan will help them make the transition.


Charles Albrecht
2007-03-15 04:00:38
The digital cutover is, in large part, why I choose a Mac Mini+EyeTV 500 combination last year, hooked directly to my analog TV. It's not yet a replacement for our general purpose live tv viewing (and the EyeTV software - especially 2.3.2 and later - makes it so painful to combine watching live tv with scheduled recordings that it's unlikely we'd use it for our general viewing any time soon).

Not that I was inclined to subscribe to cable, but had I, I'd have already spent enough to pay for the EyeTV. Another couple of years would cover the cost of the Mini and the external drive. And it gives me time to wait out the transition before I start looking at new hardware for my living room.

Of course, that timeframe might be putting me, as a late adopter, in the market for a 3G AppleTV.