Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I'm a Convert digital, that is. I've noticed recently that TV stations are running more PSAs about the impending end of analog and the need to switch over to a digital signal before February 17, 2009. Now, chances are good that by that date I'll have either:

1. Replaced my old outdated TV set which I think is old enough to vote in the upcoming election...

2. Subscribed to cable or some other digital service to receive television programming.

But, since my research showed that a digital converter can actually IMPROVE reception over an antenna (I get only three channels right with my rabbit ears...), I decided to take advantage of the government's rebate coupon offer ($40 towards the purchase of a digital converter) and take the plunge into the digital world.

I got my converter at Best Buy. They had a VAST selection of models. Actually they had ONE. How lame is that? At least it made the decision process easier. "Yeah, I'll take that one!" It retailed for $59.99. With the coupon plus tax, I paid less than $25. Then comes the fun part--setting it up! I've already got wires all over the place--from the antenna, the DVD player, the VCR, the converter for the DVD player into the TV. It's rather scary behind my TV.

So the first challenge was figuring out which wires should plug in where. After a few tries, I got that figured out--but the converter wasn't working. Oh wait--I have to set it to channel THREE. Once I did that, the digital converter ran through a quick set-up and I was good to go. I increased my channels from three to TWENTY-FOUR. I've got CBS now, three versions of ABC, a weather channel, two PBS channels and a couple of other local syndicated channels. And the picture is amazing! No more fussing with the bunny ears to tune in the picture. The reception is almost like I have cable, but without the big cable bill. Also without the cable channels--but still!

And I've got my VCR and DVD player working (just had to switch them both to channel three as well...), so now I'm good to go. One of these days I'll get DirecTV or cable and TiVo, but until then I'm pretty happy with my foray into the digital age.

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