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.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Lately I have been saying more and more local stations air their own PSAs on the DTV transition, and some of them summarize what actions households need to take, if any, and others put up links on their Web sites. Also last night on Chicago PBS station WTTW (July 23, 2008), on their local news and public affairs show Chicago Tonight, they did a demo of a DTV converter box with information on how to connect it inline to VCRs with analog tuners that will also no longer receive the full-power off-air TV broadcasts after February 17, 2009 (just the low power ones).

There, is however, one thing I am not sure all these PSAs are telling - that off-air DTV is available now, and the converter boxes will allow households the ability to see and enjoy DTV, possibly to the point that the American public will welcome the transition more than fear it. If I was not so aware of off-air DTV, then I wonder if some seeing these announcements are confused into believing that DTV will not become available over the air until February 2009. I think a few of these announcements should make people aware that the converter boxes they buy can be hooked up immediately.

Also, brand new TVs that have off-air ATSC tuners do not need converter boxes, unless maybe if someone wants the benefits of over-the-air picture in picture. Why can't these local broadcasters mention "If you are watching this on channel 4-1 through the antenna tuner, then your set is DTV ready"? Somehow I feel cable and satellite providers, who do sponsor local programming for the station and provide revenue, may be giving the content writers of these spots a bit of fear that if people knew about off-air DTV then they may cancel their pay TV subscriptions so they can afford to fill their gas tanks.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great info! This site also has helpful tips in video form on preparing for the digital TV transition.

12:21 PM  
Blogger Lisa H said...

I am so glad we found your blog. Thank you thank you thank you. We tried hooking up the dtv box today and our reception was worse than ever (4 stations all pixilated). We've been receiving certain digital channels (like 2.1 and 17.1, 17.2, etc) for a while now, so figured we were okay, but every time they ran one of those "tests" to tell you if you were ready, we failed the test!

6:30 PM  

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