Conrad coming into the 21st Century, digital TV is here

If you are already a subscriber to the ‘The Dish’ or ‘DirecTV’ or any other of the companies that offer cable or satellite TV, you are covered.

If, on the other hand you don’t subscribe, you either have to buy a converter or already have a TV that is digital. On March 29, the TV translators that serve Conrad will be adding digital service. The tower has been here for some time and is already up, the new equipment will be installed next week.

Readers will recall that in 1997 Congress mandated this change in improved services.

After Feb. 17, 2009 all broadcast TV moved to channels 2-51 and converted to digital. After September 2015, all translators must be digital or cease operation.

One does not need to buy a new TV, but if you have an older model, you may need to purchase a converter box. They can be obtained at Radio Shack, Wal-Mart, and Best Buy and on line at Amazon and EBay. Prices range from $40-$60.

If you purchased a TV within the last few years it will have a digital turner built in.

There are a number of questions that keep coming up on the switch from analog to digital, with one being why is digital so much better?

There are two main reasons, one, in analog TV the farther you live from the tower, the worst the picture becomes. Not so with digital.

The single most degrading factor with analog TV is ghosting. With digital TV there are no ghosts.

What is ‘high definition’ TV? High definition TV or HD, has a far superior video quality and is broadcast in the wide screen format like in a movie theater.

The quality of the picture is so good that instead of seeing grass  you will see the individual blades of grass or instead of seeing the legs of a bumble bee, you will see the hairs on its leg.

Some people are thinking it would just be easier to hook up to cable or a satellite company but it may not be.

Satellite and some cable companies don’t offer the high quality that you get with free over the air digital TV; over the air signals are more than six times better.

The same is true with basic cable. They “down convert” the digital signal so it won’t be much better than analog.

Satellite may offer HD from your local station, but there is an added cost; some cable companies do, but it costs more than basic cable and still may not be as good as over the air digital TV.

A $40 antenna plus the mounting hardware will bring out the absolute highest quality digital TV and after your initial investment, it is free. If you have questions or need more information, contact one the Conrad TV board members, Sharon Eisenberg, Jerry Walth or Claudia DeShazer.