Need help with the Digital TV conversion this year? Powet.TV has the answers in this handy video!

(Show notes after the jump)

Show Notes:

More about Antennas:

According to a friend who’s been in radio for seven years, the VHF spectrum won’t be going away entirely — there is a portion of the ATSC spec that still uses it. This shouldn’t be a problem, as most antennas being billed as “Digital Antennas” come with rabbit ears built in. Sorry for any confusion.

If the digital antenna prices scare you and you’re interested in making your own, check out this link, or watch the embedded video below:

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

“I have a Digital TV. Do I need a converter?”:

No. Most HDTVs and other advanced sets have a digital tuner built in for picking up over-the-air signals. All you’ll need is a decent antenna. If we do a followup video, I’ll show off how great my Samsung HDTV handles this.

“I have Cable. Is there any benefit in getting TV over the air?”:

I mentioned that you might want to pick up a converter or get an antenna for your HDTV, but I never said why in the video. There are several reasons:

1) Video over cable or satellite is usually very highly compressed. Since the ATSC spec is so good, the over-the-air signal may actually be better quality as a result.

2) Your Cable or Satellite service many not yet carry all of the additional channels that affiliates are now making available over the air. I can’t speak for every market, but Charter in Madison, WI does not carry any of the 24-hour news channels being offered by local stations WMTV and WKOW. The only way to watch these right now is over the air.

3) Your Cable or Satellite service may not yet carry the HD version of your local affiliates. This is a problem for my local WBUW affiliate, which has been broadcasting its CW programming in HD for a while now, but Charter only carries standard def (as of this writing). As one of the few people left in the world who still watches Smallville, I prefer to do it over the air.

The shorter answer is that every market is going to be different. Local station affiliates can now add a lot to their markets with programming targeted for their communities. Without the participation of Cable or Satellite companies, however, this will go largely unnoticed unless people switch away from their expensive televisions delivery systems and enjoy all that ATSC has to offer.

Since the new spec is so amazingly good, watching TV over the air can now be a more than satisfying experience.

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