The Big Switch To Digital TV Is Approaching - - The News for South Mississippi

The Big Switch To Digital TV Is Approaching

The countdown to digital is on for local television stations. Starting February 17, 2009, local channels like WLOX must switch from broadcasting in analog to broadcasting in digital.

Congress passed the law requiring the switch under the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005.  It says one of the main reasons for the change was to free up broadcast space for public safety officials like police and fire fighters.

"They'll be freeing up certain UHF channels, 63, 64, 68 and 69.  We'll be giving those frequencies back to public safety for their two-way radios and other type of equipment," says John Armstrong, WLOX-TV's Chief Engineer.

The government also plans to auction off broadcast space to wireless companies and use some of the money to help reduce the national deficit. Steve Moses, the general manager for Best Buy in Gulfport, says the switch also offers other benefits.

"Digital travels faster so you can fit more bandwidth and get better picture better sound through the digital transmission," says Moses.

There are three options to think about as you prepare for the switch.

Option number one, get a digital converter if you do not want to buy a new tv.

Starting early 2008, the government will allow each U.S. household to request two $40 coupons to be used toward a digital converter box.

Number two, get cable or satellite connections, but check to see if they carry local stations.

Number three, buy a new television.

You can buy a high definition television or skip HD and buy a tv that comes with a digital tuner.

As local channels prepare themselves to move into the digital age, now is the time for the people who watch them to do the same.

The government plans to auction off broadcast space to wireless companies and use some of the that money to help reduce the national deficit.

Click here to find out more about "The Big Switch" to digital. 

By:Krystal Allan

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