OTA HDTV Reception Q&A

Updates on the DTV transition and how to receive over-the-air digital television for free.

Location: Richmond, IL, United States

Hello there! I created this blog to share the information about over-the-air HDTV reception you have been wearily searching the Web or calling technical lines for, whether you have decided for less expensive means to get your favorite TV shows, or still adjusting from the over the air broadcast DTV transition that occurred on June 12, 2009. After working for a leading antenna manufacturer for almost 5 years, during which time I've shared my expertise with those who asked on the phone and by email at work, I decided to do the same in the Blogosphere! Confused about getting your local HD channels? Just click through the archives, some of the most useful information is in the early posts from 2005-06. If you want to get in touch with me with antenna related questions, just leave a comment anywhere on this site.

Saturday, February 04, 2006


Here is a quick little blog on when analog broadcasting will end. As I write this, a budget bill on President Bush's desk ready for signing into law will have analog broadcasting to end on February 17, 2009. The date came out as a compromise between the House and Senate on choosing a hard date. The House considered a January 1, 2009 date to get the new public services moving, while the Senate considered an April 7, 2009 date, which would have immediately followed the NCAA Men's basketball title game.

Personally, I was hoping for the April date for the reasons mentioned on a previous entry (see my entry "WHEN WILL OFF-AIR ANALOG BROADCASTING END" from 10/16/2005). With a February 17th date, that would follow the college football bowls and the Super Bowl, but also in the middle of the networks' February sweeps, meaning some viewers may miss out on an episode of their favorite shows while adjusting their sets and antennas after a deadline. Maybe people will ask to borrow someone's iPod to watch a missed episode of a favorite show if they cannot download an episode from iTunes themselves, or watch on a Modeo enabled phone. I am also concerned that some people may need to readjust their antennas on a cold, icy day in some areas, which some people will not want to do if the antenna is roof or tower mounted outdoors.

Some stations will be reassigning their broadcast channel when analog broadcasting ends. However, if an off-air loyalist is aware of what the final digital assignments for their area are, they can check an analog set to see if the picture has little snow and interference, if so, then the antenna may not need to be repositioned. If there is interference, the antenna could be adjusted well before the shutoff date on a nicer day. However, it will be August 2006 at the earliest when the final DTV assignments will be finalized by the FCC, and realistically, that release date may be later.

In any case, it is expected that President Bush will approve this budget bill, and the date will be set. Now it is time for the electronics manufacturers and broadcasters to get people aware of what is going on. If you are an off-air loyalist, you have three years to get yourselves DTV ready. If you have cable or satellite, you may not need to do anything.


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