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Kate Greene

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The End of Analog TV Delayed

After the switch, some people may need additional antennas to receive a clear signal.

  • January 27, 2009

Yesterday, the U.S. Senate pushed back the day that analog television signals die from February 17 to June 12. The hope is that by that time, approximately 6.5 million homes without digital converter boxes will have bought them using $40 vouchers issued by the government.

But even with a converter box (or with a TV with a built-in digital tuner), people could still face problems with reception. When an analog signal isn’t strong enough, the TV will show a picture, albeit a fuzzy one with degraded sound. But when a digital TV signal is weak, there is no picture at all. So in some cases, it may be necessary to buy a special digital antenna to get decent reception. Here’s a great post that clearly explains the process of switching over to digital and everything you need to consider when setting up an antenna. And here’s a website with plenty of information about the type of antenna you might need, based on your address.

If you have even more time (and some tools) on your hands, there are DIY alternatives to buying a digital antenna. Below is a video tutorial from the Make magazine blog.

Maker Workshop–DTV Antenna & Steadicam on MAKE: television, from Make magazine on Vimeo.

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