Finding DTV Antennas Online
A majority of television networks broadcast their signals through analog systems but this is starting to change. By February 17, 2009 all networks have been required to move from analog signals to the new digital television signal.
Understanding What DTV Is
A majority of television networks broadcast their signals through analog systems but this is starting to change. By February 17, 2009 all networks have been required to move from analog signals to the new digital television signal. This is what is known as DTV. Digital Television (DTV) is expected to provide the viewing audience with a better quality picture and clearer audio though this is not guaranteed. The main reasoning for this switch over is to allow analog signals to be used for official public service industries.
Determining the Need for A DTV Antenna
Not everyone will need a DTV antenna or a DTV converter box. In fact, if you subscribe to cable or satellite services you will not actually need to purchase these components. The only people who will need to purchase a DTV antenna and/or a DTV converter are those who receive free broadcasts from the major network stations. Those who opt for this free service will need to make sure they have purchased the required components before the February 2009 deadline or they will not be able to enjoy their favorite shows.
What Components You Will Need
If you are one of the millions who will be affected by this change-over there are some pieces of equipment that you will need to purchase. Before heading off to the store it is important to find out if your television has a built in DTV converter. According to the FCC all television manufactured after May 2007 are required to have built in DTV converters installed. If they do not have this DTV converter installed than retailers must insure that buyers are aware that if they purchase that television set they will need to purchase the additional pieces of equipment.
If your television has DTV built in all you will need to purchase is an antenna to make sure that you are able to get the signal. The DTV box top antenna is similar to the traditional “rabbit-ears” that attach to your television using coaxial cables. These indoor box top antennas are simple to install though if you live on the fringes of a broadcast area you may want to opt for a larger outdoor antenna.
If your television does not have an integrated DTV converter you will need to purchase a DTV converter box as well as an antenna in order to receive a DTV signal. These converter boxes set on top of your television and turn the digital signal being broadcasted in to an analog signal that your television set can understand.
To make this process less painful to non cable or satellite subscribing customers the federal government is offering those who need to purchase a DTV antenna and/or DTV converter boxes an in-store coupon for their purchase. Each household can apply for up to two coupons worth $40 each for qualifying items. Additional information and applications for coupons can be found at www.dtv2009.com.
Where to Find A DTV Antenna
In anticipation of the change from analog to digital television retailers have stocked up on the DTV antenna and DTV converter boxes. Most big box retailers have a selection of these products to choose from. Companies such as Radio Shack™, Circuit City™, and Best Buy™ have a wider selection of DTV antennas and DTV converter boxes.
It is important to know a few things before you buy a DTV antenna. You will need to estimate how powerful an antenna you will need, and the features that you will require. This will be the main determining factor in whether you are able to use an internal antenna, or if you will have to mount an antenna to the exterior of your home. The most basic of these antennas should serve you well if you live relatively close to the television studios that are broadcasting the signal. However, if you live further afield, you may need an amplified antenna that plugs into an electrical outlet. The most effective antennas, of course, are the larger models that can be mounted outside to receive the best signal possible.
The costs for a DTV converter box averages at around $60 each and are manufactured by companies like Digital Stream™, Zenith™, and Insignia™. Indoor DTV antennas are priced at approximately $70-$80 while larger outdoor antennas have an average price of $120.
Where to Find Additional Information on DTV
If you are one of the millions of American is who do not subscribe to cable or satellite services because they are too expensive or they are not available in your area then you will want to mark the date of February 17, 2009 on your calendar. This is the day the new digital over the air programming will begin making your analog television useless without a DTV antenna and a DTV converter box.
Additional information on the Analog to Digital switch over can be found at www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/digitaltv.html and www.dtv2009.gov.