Television is a key element in many homes. While a great number of people subscribe to cable or satellite TV, many still watch local signals using an antenna on the roof or a smaller version that is connected directly to the television set. A two-pronged set antenna is often referred to as "rabbit ears" and many people still use this old method to receive a signal. As of 12 June 2009, these will no longer work and you may need a digital to analog TV converter.
Television has long been received by analog signal, but the U.S. Congress has mandated a switch to digital television in the United States. All televisions will be required to receive a digital signal in order to continue watching TV. If you are unprepared for this change, you will see nothing when you turn on the television. The reason given for the change was to open up more frequencies for public safety communications, including communications between first responders.
Some televisions are digital-ready. Unfortunately, many are not, especially older models. There are people who cannot afford to go out and buy a new TV, but the good news is that a digital to analog TV converter can be used in order to pick up the signal. It is fairly simple to install.
Basically, you will unplug the coaxial cable that currently attaches your television to an antenna. Next, plug that cable into the “antenna in” port on the digital to analog TV converter. You should receive another similar cable with your box. One end goes into the "out to TV" port and the other end goes where your original antenna cable was on your TV. Then, simply plug in the box and the TV and follow the instructions. Your television will need to be on either channel 3 or channel 4.
You may be able to obtain a government coupon to help toward the purchase of a digital to analog TV converter from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. Coupons are said to be worth $40.00 US Dollars (USD) toward the purchase of a converter, and up to two coupons may be available for each home.
This way, you’ll still be able to receive local signals. Even if you don’t watch much television, it is a good idea to invest in a digital to analog TV converter. You never know when important information may be broadcast such as civil emergency messages or advisories concerning severe weather.
So, how do you know if your TV is ready? Your television may be labeled depending on how old it is. If you cannot find the information, contact the manufacturer. Have the make and model number ready.