When it comes to the television world, there are primarily two kinds of TVs: analog and digital. The main difference between them is how they receive their signal, with the analog televisions receiving analog signal, and the digital televisions receiving digital. Because of the broadcast conversion to digital television, you will need to know if your television is digital or not.
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Why Do I Need to Know?
It is important to know if your television is digital or not. This is because June 2009 was the set date for all television broadcast stations to switch their analog signal over to digital. If your television is analog and you are not connected to either a cable box or converter box, you would no longer be able to receive signal and view broadcast televisions after that date. To correct the issue you would have to purchase a digital television, cable or a signal converter box (which converts the digital signal to analog).
Analog vs. Digital
If you were using rabbit ears to receive your television signal, you most likely have an analog television. To make sure of this, look into the owner's manual of your television. If you do not currently have it, you can go to the company's website, select "Support," and choose your television model. There will be a user manual for the television available to view online or via download. The manual will either say the television has a digital tuner, or that it is DTV-ready. If your television has a digital tuner, it is a digital television; however, if it is only DTV-ready, it is analog. Also, televisions more than a few years old--typically those manufactured before 2000--are usually analog televisions.
How to Get Digital Television
The first step is to purchase a new television. All televisions currently being made are digital televisions, so you do not even need to worry about that. If you would rather not purchase a new TV, you have two other options. First, you can sign up for a cable/satellite package. Packages that use a receiver box will act as the digital tuner for your television, and you will be able to watch the programming on your TV. Or you can by a digital converter box. These are available at electronic stores like Target and Walmart. The converter box will act just like a receiver box and convert the content from the digital signal to analog.