Analog to Digital Television

Congress passed a federal law, the Digital Television Transition and Public Safety Act of 2005, mandating the last day of complete power analog tv broadcasting to be February 17, 2009. On February 17, 2009, all tv channels in the US will transform from analog to digital. What does this mean to you?

" This is completion of a 10 year shift," stated Bart Forbes, public affairs expert with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. "This will generally impact a couple of people who do not have digital or satellite tv."

More than 50% of American houses now have a digital tv. More then 85% register for a cable television or satellite company, and none of those customers will be impacted by the analog to digital shift, because they do not get transmissions over the air. The only homes to be impacted are the ones without digital TELEVISION, and who get transmissions over the air by antenna, which represents about 11% of the American families today. This 11% of the population is qualified to get 2 discount coupons from the Department of Commerce, each voucher great for $40 discount rate on the purchase of an unique converter box that will permit conventional analog sets to use the new digital transmissions. Converter boxes are anticipated to cost $40 to $60 each.

Converter boxes will quickly be offered in much of the country's biggest merchants. Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Sears and Circuit City will bring packages. Congress has actually set aside $22.5 billion to fund customer discount coupons for discount rates on the purchase of these converter boxes. An extra $11.25 discount coupons will be released once the very first set of vouchers goes out. Vouchers will not be provided till the converter boxes are offered in shops. If you have a cable television or satellite company, describe the website or call your local company, as you probably do not need a converter box or any extra devices. If you have bunny ears on top of your television, then it might be time to plan a journey to your local merchant to discover when the converter boxes are concerning town.

" Most people 50 and older watch 5 hours of TELEVISION a day," stated Sean Voskuhl, associate state director for AARP in Oklahoma. "People over 65 also have the tendency to have an older TELEVISION."

Some supporters of seniors are worried that the analog to digital shift will impact elderly people more than other section of the population. Retirement home, group houses, and comparable organizations do not get approved for the converter box discount rate vouchers. Sean Voskuhl stated that he is worried of the effect on elderly people because of the quantity of TELEVISION that they watch. According to Nielsen, the New York based company that ranks tv watching, it is just over 6 hours a day for those over the age of 55. Voskuhl advises elderly people obtain discount coupons early, but since much of these older Americans do not use computer systems, the options might be complicated.

The shift will not be from analog to hd tv (HDTV), which is the greatest level of TELEVISION service. HDTV sets currently are geared up for digital service.

" Nothing will change for people with cable television or dish antenna," stated Dennis Whitman, of Fastpipe Media. "HDTV's offered now currently have a tuner that serves the very same function as a converter box."

The FCC encourages audiences to look for any of the following: "Integrated Digital Tuner", "Digital Tuner Built In", "Digital Receiver", "Digital Tuner", "DTV", "ATSC", or "HDTV" on the set or the user's manual. When in doubt, call the tv maker or the original merchant.

Digital Televisions are the marketplace leader in customer items, comprising more then 16% of the $160 Billion invested in customer electronics gadgets. Any tv offered after May 25, 2007 is needed to have a digital tuner or the seller is needed to divulge that it does not have one.

" There is another element of this shift that is going mainly undetected," stated Mark Balinski, Senior Manager of Business Development for ZSL, Inc. "As the American customer accepts the greater quality of digital tv, HDTV, and the flat type factor of LCD, the old analog photo tube gadgets are being unceremoniously discarded with increasing consistency. Those cumbersome analog CRT gadgets and old VCR's are not even considered hand-me-downs any longer. They are becoming harmful electronic waste in our land fills."

Mark Balinski is at the leading edge of a growing union to deal with the e-waste option. Acknowledging the obstacles presented by the varied legislation being proposed by individual states, Mark is establishing an option to track illegal drugs and products from the production procedure through the customer electronic devices lifecycle, and back through recycling and recovery. The proposed service streamlines the procedure for federal government companies, producers, sellers, and the end-user customers. "Our objective is to turn electronic waste into the new basic materials for future items, and to save more of our natural deposits for future generations to enjoy," stated Mark.