We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

How do I Buy Digital TV?

Tricia Christensen
By
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGEEK is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGEEK, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

There still exists much confusion about the way to buy digital TV since this may mean a few different things. Digital TV can refer to type of television set, the way it receives pictures, and the picture quality on the television. Alternately, people may want to know how they can receive digital TV broadcasting signals or how they can convert an older TV set to receive the new digital signals, which have replaced analog signals as of 2009. These issues are all related.

Most people who were using rabbit ear or roof antennas when analog broadcasting came to an end in 2009 didn't actually buy digital TV, but instead bought a digital converter box. These help convert digital signals so they can be read by older televisions that were not digital-ready. Converter boxes are still likely to be available should someone need one.

Analog to digital converters are only necessary for those people who didn’t have a subscription cable or satellite service. Most cable and satellite customers could continue to receive broadcasts after the shift. Some need a special box they could get from cable or satellite companies, and this option to buy digital TV is likely to remain available for some time. An old TV isn’t rendered useless by the new digital broadcast.

Yet this is not exactly digital TV. In the options above, the matter discussed is converting standard or analog sets so they can play digital TV. True digital picture quality can’t really be appreciated without a digital television, and interest in quality may determine the type of set to buy. Sets may come in high definition (HD), enhanced definition (ED) or standard definition (SD). High definition types give best quality, but not all digital broadcasting is in HD. ED is slightly better than standard definition, and thus a bit better than pictures on an analog set. ED and HD may show improvement over an analog set, but SD is comparable with high quality analog televisions.

This means if people are looking to upgrade the appearance of the television picture when they buy digital TV they probably want to look to getting a TV that is considered HD or ED. This may still need a cable or satellite box to run, though some do have a tuner built-in. Getting digital TV does often mean contracting with some type of cable provider to get the most channels.

Defining how to buy digital TV is a matter of determining what that means. Some people just want to get their regular television channels on an older TV set. Others want to see high picture quality that can result from broadcasts in high definition or enhanced definition. For the former, people can consult most electronics stores to get equipment they need or sign up with a cable service. With the latter, a trip to electronic stores to shop for a new TV may be needed.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen , Writer
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a WiseGEEK contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.

Discussion Comments

Tricia Christensen

Tricia Christensen

Writer

With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a WiseGEEK contributor, Tricia...
Read more
WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.