Monday, December 11, 2006

The Dutch are Digital!

The Houston Chronicle had an article about the big switch in the Netherlands. They switched from an analog TV signal (bunny ear type signal) to a digital signal (like our HDTV signal where you need a special box and tv antenna to receive the signal). The US will be making this switch in 2009, meaning that all of us will have to get new tv's that are able to handle this, subscribe to cable or satellite tv, or we will have to get equipment to 'retrofit' our tvs to be able to read this new signal.

Many of our local tv stations already have the capability to broadcast in the digital signal, you can notice those station when they say to check them out on their channel on x.1 or x.2, for example, here in the 'Plex, we can watch NBC on 5.1 and we can watch their Weather Plus on 5.2. Same with Channel 8, regular tv on 8.1 and on 8.2, you get their Doppler radar and the NOAA weather channel audio.

What do you think about this change that will be occurring in 2 years?

There are many pros... Clearer pictures and audio, no need to adjust the bunny ears for a clearer signal and picture, ability to watch additional channels (8.1,8.2) (some smaller markets use this to bring other stations to the market, ie: Sherman/Denison, KXII, a CBS station uses their digital signal to bring those viewers the MYTV network along with a FOX Network)..

The only cons that I can think of would be the cost of retrofitting the tv to make it able to receive the new signal. Stations would have to foot up the money to convert, but many of them already have, so it is not that big of a deal. My concern is about the people in smaller markets who cannot necessarily afford to convert their tv's or to purchase a new tv. Will their screens go blank?

Let me know your thoughts....

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