DTV 101--The switch to Digital Television: Part 2

By now, you've probably heard of DTV, or digital television. It is the new way you will be receiving television signals, and the only way starting in February 2009.

Digital TV will bring you better picture and sound and more channel options.

One of those options is HDTV, or high-definition television.

This is more than 5 times as sharp as a current analog TV.

But before you take the economic stimulus check and head to the store to buy a set, here are some things you should know.

Almost all new digital televisions are HDTV or high-definition. True HD is a 16 by 9 ratio, which basically means the TV screen is rectangular rather than square.

Many of the networks primetime shows are broadcast in HD right now.

The picture is almost 3-dimensional and the audio is very enhanced.

You don't have to have cable or satellite to receive the local HDTV signals. In fact, one of these old rooftop antennas by be enough, depending on where you live. Indoor antennas can also work depending on where you live.

If you are ready to go out and buy a new digital TV, keep this in mind.

When shopping make sure the set has an ATSC tuner some sets are labeled as “HD Ready”—that means they don't have a tuner. Without the tuner you cannot pick up the high-definition signals off air. However, an HD-ready set will work with a cable or satellite receiver.

If you would like this information with video demonstrations you can click on the video link at the top of this article. If you want more information on digital television and high definition television in general, we have links available and a toll-free hotline to answer your questions if you just click on the Big Red Bar on the left of your screen.

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