A Field Guide To Digital TV
Soon, thanks to the federal government, you will have to buy a digital television if you want to watch TV. (See the detailed explanation of this in the Comments section below.)
Congress has mandated a switchover from analog TV -- which is what TVs have been since their invention -- to digital TV. The idea is to save airwave spectrum -- the digital spectrum is smaller -- and be able to re-use the old analog TV spectrum for other things, like "Star Trek" transporters. Okay, not really. But for other stuff.
Which means your old analog TV will be kaput. Congress has approved a set-top box subsidy to aid in the transition, but digital TV is a foregone conclusion. Analog TV transmissions are supposed to stop by Feb. 17, 2009.
For most people, choosing a digital TV is as complicated as shopping for a rocket ship. And almost as expensive. Ba-da-BUM.
Today, the folks at the Consumer Electronics Association -- the trade group of electronics companies -- and product-review company CNet have added a digital TV tutorial to their step-by-step product Web site.
The name is pretty cumbersome -- www.MyCEKnowhow.com -- but thankfully the site is not. It's an interactive guide that starts with showing you how to pick the right size TV for a room and ends by taking you to CNet product reviews. The site has been up for awhile, and already has guides to buying an mp3 player and a digital camera.
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