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Wednesday, October 1 at 9 p.m. Get Ready for Digital TV

(Rochester, NY) In a half-hour special, Get Ready for Digital TV, PBS has joined with This Old House’s famous do-it-yourselfers Norm Abram and Kevin O’Connor, along with Maria Hinojosa, award-winning senior correspondent with NOW on PBS, to offer digital television how-to guidance and tips to ensure that viewers across America are prepared to successfully make the switch to digital television in their homes before the analog shutoff in February 2009. Get Ready for Digital TV airs Wednesday, October 1 at 9 p.m. and repeats Thursday, October 16 at 10:30 p.m. on WXXI-TV 21 (cable 11) and WXXI-HD (cable 1011 and DT 21.1).

The television industry is approaching a historic moment; on Tuesday, February 17, 2009, the nation’s TV broadcasters will complete their transition to an all-digital format. Digital television (DTV) is a newer, more efficient, broadcast technology that offers viewers dramatically clearer pictures and better sound than the traditional analog system.

This change will affect millions of households that only receive over-the-air signals, as well as those that have secondary over-the-air TV sets in their bedrooms and/or kitchens.

Viewers who do not subscribe to a paid cable or satellite service and do not have a digital tuner inside their television will need to take one of the three steps outlined below to continue watching TV after the transition.

1. Purchase a TV set with a built-in digital tuner.
2. Subscribe to cable, satellite or other pay TV service.
3. Purchase a DTV converter box for your existing TV set.

Digital-to-analog converter boxes receive digital over-the-air signals from your antenna, convert them to analog and then send the signals to your existing analog television set. Through March 31, 2009, all U.S. households are eligible to request up to two $40 government-sponsored coupons to off-set the price of the boxes, allowing viewers to continue watching free over-the-air television on their older analog sets.

For more information, visit wxxi.org/dtv.

Pictured: Kevin O'Connor (left) and Norm Abram of This Old House.
Photo Credit: ©WGBH/Anthony Tieuli

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WXXI is the essential, life-long educational media resource for the Greater Rochester area. WXXI puts the community first with programming that stimulates and expands thought, inspires the spirit, opens cultural horizons and promotes understanding of diverse community issues. Log on to wxxi.org for more information about our services and programs.