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Transcript: Getting ready for digital TV

Anchor Intro: On February 17, 2009, analog TV will officially be history, and digital will be the only kind on the air. But while digital TV makes for a clear picture, the picture on what it all means is anything but. For example, will you have to throw away your old TV? Will you have to buy a converter box? Bankrate.com has the answers.

Voice over 1: It's enough to make you put down the remote and pick up a book. Flat-screen. Plasma. Projection. 1080P. And now digital vs. analog.

Voice over 2: In just a few months -- February 17, 2009 -- analog TV will be history, leaving only digital TV. And that's causing a ton of confusion.

SOT: "I heard about it, but I'm not really familiar about it."

Voice over 3: It's no wonder people are confused. According to Consumer Reports, Britain is spending $400 million to educate the public about their digital conversion. Thus far the U.S. has allocated $5 million.

Voice over 4: Much of the confusion arises around this: digital conversion boxes. Will everyone with an older TV need one?

SOT: "The folks that will need the conversion box are those without cable or satellite, if you have a TV that's off air, meaning you're using just an antenna, you will need a converter box."

Voice over 5: So even if you have an old TV, as long as you're hooked up to satellite or cable, you're fine.

Voice over 6: If you get your signal over the air, you won't need a new digital TV, but you will need a conversion box.

Voice over 7: The good news? The government is going to help with the cost: You can go to this Web site and get up to two $40 coupons for digital conversion boxes. They're available now, but take note: The Web site says, "while supplies last."

Standup: So remember the date: February 17, 2009. And remember that if you pay for TV with cable or satellite, your old analog TV will work fine. If you get your signal over the air, however, or think you might want to in case of emergency, you'll need either a conversion box or a newer digital TV. For Bankrate.com, I'm Kristin Arnold.

Bankrate.com's corrections policy
-- Posted: Dec. 12, 2008
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