I hear with in two years TV, Radio Communications and maybe Computers will
go from Analog to Digital. How will this change effect all the TV’s, Radio
Communication Devices and computers in use today???
Well, to begin with, I think you’ve overstated things a little. The only
devices under imminent “digitalization” are televisions.
But even then, things aren’t quite as bad as you think.
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First, your computer is already a digital device. Not sure what parts of it
you were thinking might be analog, (technically VGA-style video output and
speaker/headphone output are analog) but there’s nothing there that I know of
that is going to be affected by any impending change unless perhaps you have a
TV tuner card.
Radio, to the best of my knowledge, isn’t changing any time soon. Consumer
radio, most commonly the AM and FM bands on your radio, are probably going to
be around for a long time. There are other bands used for other purposes that
are already digital, but they were pretty much digital from the start, and are
typically special purpose.
Of course any radio you listen to over the internet is digital. It may have
been converted from an analog source, but in order to travel over the internet
Television, however, is undergoing a change.
Here’s a quote from the FCC
At midnight on February 17, 2009, federal law requires that all full-power
television broadcast stations stop broadcasting in analog format and broadcast
only in digital format.
OK, so what does that mean?
There are some things that are very easy to miss in that statement:
This is happening in The United States. Other countries may
or may not be imposing similar changes on a similar, or different, time
This all about over-the-air programming. In other words, it only
affects what you pick up with a plain TV antenna.
This mandates digital TV, but does not mandate high-definition.
it’s more than likely you’ll need do nothing.”
OK, so knowing all that, what do you need to do?
If you live in a country outside the United States, check
with your local broadcast regulation agency. It’s quite possible you need to do
something different, or nothing at all.
If you get your television via Satellite or Cable check
with your provider, but it’s more than likely you’ll need do nothing. In many
cases your signal is already being sent digitally, and being converted to
analog for your TV by your cable or satellite box.
If you get your television using an antenna (over-the-air),
then you’ll need to either upgrade your TV to a digital-ready device, or
purchase a converter box before the deadline.
Digital-ready TVs are available now. In fact, to quote the FCC again, “The
FCC requires all televisions manufactured or imported into the United States
after March 1, 2007, to incorporate digital tuners.” TVs imported or created
before that date which are analog-only are now supposed to have a warning on
them when sold in the U.S. that indicates that they may not work after the
deadline without a converter.
What about HDTV?
Nothing in the change discusses or requires that High Definition TV be
provided. That being said, HDTV is a digital format and requires a
The good news is that many stations are broadcasting HD already in addition
to digital SD (standard definition) along with their analog signal. Even better
that number is only going to increase.
If you do get an HDTV with a digital tuner (built in or external) it’ll be
ready for both HD and SD broadcasts.