Standard broadcast analog television signals from the major networks will cease on February 17, 2009. After that time, if you receive your TV signals from a standard antenna right off the airwaves, you will either need to upgrade to a digital television or buy a converter box for your standard analog TV (supposedly, cable and satellite TV customers will not have to do anything, as those services will do the signal conversions for you). At least, that’s the official word.
But, how well is this really going to work? To see some of the really cautionary tales of how big government can’t overrule, or ignore, the laws of physics, check out the links on this Web page from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics engineers.
Don’t be scared. Many of these articles are not written for engineers, but rather for “the rest of us.” And, there may be an awful lot of trouble on the horizon.
And, it looks like all converter boxes are not created equal. This article also indicates you may need more than just the converter box – perhaps a totally new antenna and wiring system is in your expensive future.
So, stand by. We are going to find out in February exactly how well our nation’s technical leaders really did their homework. If the IEEE stories are any indication, it looks like the dog got a hold of it.