Chances are if you have an old tube television or HD television purchased before February 17th, 2009, then you won’t be able to receive digital TV signals to it. All of the cable and satellite companies agreed to stop using analog transmissions on this date. So if you have an older television then you won’t be able to use any of the digital cable or satellite service options that have now taken over the television industry. However, you can purchase a digital converter box that will convert a digital signal from the antenna into an analog signal that is compatible with your older television set. This signal won’t be as high quality as the digital signal, so if you use an older HD television with a converted analog signal then the picture quality will just be standard. On the upside, your digital cable service will at least work with your older televisions without forcing you to purchase a newer and more expensive HD television.
Now you may be wondering if your television needs a digital converter box or not. If it has a built-in digital tuner then you will be able to receive digital transmissions into it. These tuners are often called ATSC tuners. You will find them in all HD televisions that came out within the last five years. So if you purchased a television during this timeframe then it should have the ATSC tuner already. The older televisions have the NTSC tuner, which is the analog transmission system. You should find these abbreviations somewhere on the back of your television. This will be an easy indication to know one way or another if your television can handle digital or analog signals. If you find that it has an NTSC tuner then you will need a digital converter box to convert it into an ATSC, or digital transmission.
These days everything is digital, whether you purchase a new television, DVD player, computer, telephone or any other electronic device. But people still hold on to their old televisions for a variety of reasons. Perhaps they cannot afford to purchase a new one or maybe they just like holding onto older electronics for nostalgic purposes. Whatever the reason, digital converter boxes are becoming popular and are being sold in more electronics stores around the country. Some of these stores include Sears, Wal-Mart, Target, RadioShack, Circuit City, Sam’s Club and Best Buy. The converters are priced between $40 and $70, so they are pretty affordable for the average consumer.