From the Editor: Steve Waltke is an engineer who lives in Michigan. He enjoys do-it-yourself projects around the house. He concluded that what he learned from one of his recent activities might prove useful to others who still use rabbit ears or an antenna for television reception. This is what he says:
After doing research and setting up several digital TV conversion boxes, I thought I would share what I have learned about setting up equipment for receiving digital television broadcasts. If you currently subscribe to cable or satellite service, you don’t have immediate use for this information. However, you may want to keep it handy if you get fed up with exorbitant subscriber fees and do not want to spend at least $400 to buy a new digital TV.
If you are using rabbit ears or an exterior antenna with your TV, you may find this information essential. By federal law, starting in February 2009, all commercial television stations must stop transmitting the old-fashioned (analog) way, and must begin to broadcast using digital format, so, if you want to continue watching TV, you will have to go digital. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to use the new digital broadcast technology; however, you will need to learn a few new things. This article explains how to go digital as inexpensively and easily as possible. Until February 2009 the federal government will give you a maximum of two free coupons, each worth $40. Each coupon can be given to a retail store as partial payment for a single digital conversion box. The price range for these conversion boxes is $50 to $80. It is important to remember that the coupon expires ninety days after it is sent to you. Also no replacement is available for lost or unused expired coupons. You may request the coupons by phoning the NTIA program at (888) 388-2009, which is part of the Federal Communications Commission, or you can fill out an online request by going to the official government Website.