The Digital TV Switch – in Layman's Terms

"Television as we know is about to change drastically in the U.S. in February when broadcasters switch solely to transmitting digital signals. And even though there are many benefits to this transition, there are also a few downsides.

Here’s the lowdown on what you can expect from the new digital TV service, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

First, let’s start with the good. On February 17, broadcasters throughout the country will flip a switch turning off their old analog TV transmitters, and they will begin transmitting their TV signals only in digital format. Over 90 percent of TV stations today already broadcast both analog and digital stations, which means that consumers don’t have to wait until February to test and tweak their TVs to get digital TV.

For the most part, the switch to digital TV will benefit all Americans, regardless of whether they watch over-the-air TV."

Read More…

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IN CANADA, this switch will not happen until Aug 31, 2011.

"The CRTC is focusing on Canada’s own digital switchover, watching how the U.S. transition happens next year.

“The goal is always to be about two years behind the Americans, to let them kind of work things out,” says Peter Foster, the broadcast regulator’s acting senior director of TV policy and application.

Some smaller Canadian stations may be allowed to continue broadcasting in analogue after the 2011 switch date, Foster says.

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