The Conversion to Digital Television Is Going To Be Unpleasant

Early in 2009, regular old analog TV will go off the air forever, replaced by new special digital tv. If you didn’t know this, you’re not the only one. From the AP:

Congress has ordered broadcasters to shut off old-style analog TV broadcasts by Feb. 17, 2009, and replace them with sharper digital ones. When that happens, millions of households with pre-digital TVs that rely on antennas will need to have purchased and installed digital converter boxes that will cost a minimum of $60 each.

“I have a great apprehension that a great mess lies before us,” House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman John Dingell, D-Mich., said Wednesday.

We do too. The converter boxes don’t go on sale until next January. Congress has set aside $1.5 billion to subsidize the conversion. $40 coupons will be handed out, 2 to a household, on a first come first served basis. You can request them starting Jan 1, 2008. We can’t wait to explain this to Grandma.—MEGHANN MARCO

Lawmakers uneasy about digital TV switch [Houston Chronicle]