Will Your TV Go Dark? (Part 1)

By Corinne Rose

June 18, 2010 Updated Feb 18, 2008 at 5:28 PM EST

(Fort Wayne, IN) -- A year from today, TV stations across the country must start transmitting a digital signal.

So does that mean your t-v will go dark? And will we have to throw out our TV's and buy new ones?

Absolutely not.

Your old TV will work just fine... and we'll get more into why, Tuesday.

But first, let's take a look at why this change is necessary.

When scientists discovered they could invent a TV with better pictures and sound, they knew they'd need to change the type of signal it received, so that could happen.

Bob Wilmers is the Vice President of Technology for Granite Broadcasting.

Bob Wilmers\Granite Broadcasting VP Technology: " It was Congress, actually. And what they wanted to do was accommodate this transition to high definition television. And that could only be done by giving additional frequencies over to the broadcasters, because you couldn't do high definition with the old style analog broadcasts. So they gave us new channels to run digitally, and provide for high definition. And now we're coming to the point where we have to turn off the old analog channels."

That change will come one year from now.

So what will happen to the signals we used to get?

Bob Wilmers\Granite Broadcasting VP Technology: " Congress wants to take those old analog channels and turn them over to other users. Public service, police, fire, emergency, and so forth, because they need those frequencies for better communications."

So what does that mean for your TV set at home?

Ed Bouwsma of Stucky Brothers says you'll be most affected if you use an antenna to watch TV.

Ed Bouwsma\Stucky Brothers: " You will be required to have a box. That box will allow you to receive the digital broadcast that is coming over the air from the tv stations. It will allow you to receive all the digital channels that are out there, such as 21-1, 21-2, 2103, 33-1, 33-2, 33-3. It's going to allow you to pick up all the digital channels that are being broadcast by the station."

Tuesday on Indiana's NewsCenter, we'll explain more about those converter boxes and how you can get them.

We'll also talk about what will happen to your TV if you have cable or satellite service.




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