For what it's worth, I'm considering an LCD TV over a PS3 for the time being. So there is that.
If you must consume, at least wait until after the TV's tuner supports the new spectrum allocation for picking up [what will then be] digital TV.
When does that happen again?
A quick Wikipedia scan came up with this bit of info which seems to indicate that after March 2007 all new sets will have the required tuners. I'm looking in the 30" range, so it would seem that even if I bought today such a set would have the digital tuner required for the free broadcasts (so I could get some sort of digital PBS when analog broadcasting goes dark).
Or I could just use one of the vouchers Congress has promised for adding a digital tuner box to my current analog TV...
It's my [very limited] understanding that the range of electronmagnetic spectrum being used for TV is shifting. Even if your old channel 30 was educational, it would be moving from whatever the heck UHF is now to Some Frequency To Be Named Later [Which Has Already Been Named But I Have No Idea Where I'd Learn The Frequency].
As I understand it, the deal is that channels require less frequency now and can handle more interference, and the gov't is taking advantage of this in part by squeezing channels TV now, moving the now smaller chunk to another area in the airwaves, and using current TV freqs for cell phones, etc. -- whoever/whatever bids highest. The space needed between, eg, channels 3 & 4 is small enough that squeezing them all gains some more sellable bandwidth, so they might as well move it all.
So I guess my question is if the new TVs have tuners that receive the new frequencies [where stations will be broadcasting digitally]. If not, you'll still [maybe?] need another annoying dongle to get your reception.
I could be, and am suspicious that I am, misunderstanding what some patient people have been trying to larn me. The slant I've gotten is slightly different from what's in the 'pedia:
At the time of analog shutoff, one of the channels (digital or analog) would then be returned to the government, with the other channel remaining as a digital station; the freed spectrum could then be used for other TV stations, with UHF channels at the high end of the band being decommissioned and sold for other uses.
This jives a little with my understanding -- that UHF never reached its intended potential and is being reclaimed -- but I thought the whole smear was moving, VHF included. And what happens if you're already in the high UHF range? Do you get a permanent channel below as your double? Are we simply cutting off the top of UHF? (That'd be much easier for me to understand.)
Certainly phrases like "every conventional TV with an antenna will become obsolete" from the 'pedia are misleading, as 1.) you'll still need an antenna and 2.) There are TVs that decode HDTV that use antennas to grab analog now.
Spammariffic, I know, but this really cracks me up.
From our (well, our as in jvm and rufbo's) gov't:
DTV Why Now?
In the late 1990s, Congress determined that broadcast stations must transition from analog
television broadcasting to digital television broadcasting. Converting to DTV will free up
parts (“bands”) of the scarce and valuable broadcast spectrum, allowing these bands to be
used for public safety and emergency services and new wireless services. Because public
safety and emergency services have become even more important today, Congress recently
established a “hard” DTV transition deadline that requires all full-power television stations to
cease analog broadcasts after February 17, 2009.
It's those danged anachronistic terrorists making us give up our TVs, not a money-grubbing government!
This'll teach you to suggest you're not buying a PS3.
You guys still watch OTA broadcasts? I just watch local HD stations off the cable box.
We have cable, yes. We do not have "HD" anything, as far as I can tell. Just standard cable broadcasts for a standard 25" TV from 2001.
Now my dad, there's an over-the-airwaves guy. He's been watching snowy network television for decades and doesn't intend to give it up. I really have to wonder what's going to happen to him -- and folks like him -- when his TV won't get anything without having to buy an additional box.
Suppose your father might enjoy a Tivoli Model One as much as I do, though the AM reception is pretty shoddy away from my supra-dupra Select-A-Tenna.
Hooked up to a 'puter pulling podcasts it sounds pretty kewl, though.
Other than my NFL addiction and some desire for the Disney Channel, personally I've no use for television other than killing me softly. And even then, we'll all still have DVDs and BluRay discs via our PS3s for that.