Digital TV is coming, and the old analog systems are rapidly being phased out. The analog TV broadcasts will progressively cease, starting in 2010 and finalizing the changeover in 2013. This is a good time to start looking at LCD TVs so you’ll be ready for the big change when it happens.
Digital TV brings with it a lot of very good things for consumers:
Improved picture quality
- Many more channels, with Free to View
- Interactive features
For Australian viewers, the digital TV switchover is being conducted regionally, and regional viewers will notice some instant drastic improvements in their viewing options. The very large number of new channels, particularly dedicated channels like kids TV channels, allows a much better mix of programming, and many more choices for viewers.
Will I still be able to use my old TV?
Analog TVs require special equipment to modify digital signals. In some cases, you may find that you require both a set top box, (see below) and a new antenna. The good news is that digital TV antennas are pretty cheap and easy to find on the retail market.
Set top boxes
You’ll need a set top box for an analog TV. The box operates as a tuner and modifies the signal for analog TVs. These set top boxes are easy to get, and it’s worth checking your options.
Note: Analog TVs simply can’t do some things that digital TVs can do. You may find some features, like interactive features, may not work properly. In the long term an upgrade will be necessary.
Does it cost much to upgrade?
No. The family budget will be safe. The huge demand for digital TV has pushed down prices for consumers. A top of the range industry leader brand like a Samsung LCD TV, for example, is available at very affordable prices.
Digital TV tuners basics
If you haven’t done it before, tuning a digital TV can come as a surprise, despite the menus on screen.
There are two types of tuning:
- Auto tune: This is a systematic tuning process, and your digital TV will give you a prompt to carry out this routine when you’ve set it up. The tuner locates and sets tuning for your region.
- Manual tune: This is also pretty easy, despite first appearances. You click through a series of options, and you adjust tuning to specific stations.
If you’re having problems, you’ll find they’re easy to fix:
- The User Manual covers all basic tuning issues, 99% of the time. Remember, if you’re not familiar with the screen menus, to check out any steps you might have missed in tuning.
- Customer Support is the other big time saver for any difficulties. A phone call can get instant assistance, and an expert can tell you how to handle the situation.
Otherwise, all you need to do is sit back, relax, and enjoy the big new digital spectrum.