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Confused about Digital TV? Check Out Digital TV 101

Free online course explains the mysteries of digital television


Confused about Digital TV? Check Out Digital TV 101

Digital TV 101

Photo courtesy of SCETV
On June 12, 2009, the United States switches TV technologies from analog to digital, and some people will find that their old TV sets don't work anymore. (The change was originally scheduled to take place on February 17, but Congress extended the deadline by four months to give people more time.)

For the same reasons you can't play a vinyl records in a CD player, digital TV will not work on an old TV set.

If this confuses you, you're not alone.

Understanding Digital TV: Digital TV 101
There are some tips and tricks that help viewers understand digital TV and navigate the change from analog to digital, and "Digital TV 101" teaches you those tips and tricks.

This is especially helpful for older adults, who may not be as comfortable with the technology.

What is Digital TV 101?
A free, online short course from South Carolina Educational Television, Digital TV 101 is designed to gently teach viewers about the interesting but daunting world of digital television.

Designed as a counterpoint to many seemingly ominous TV ads and sales campaigns about digital TV, Digital TV 101 is clear and straightforward, with mature hosts and a comfortable environment similar to other PBS educational programs.

Because Digital TV 101 is a product of South Carolina Educational Television, viewers can be assured that the program has no outside influences, and no products or services are recommended.

Digital TV 101 topics include:

  • Understanding the difference between digital TV and HDTV
  • What those new numbers and letters assigned to each TV set mean
  • How to get a coupon from the government to buy a digital TV converter
  • Pros and cons of the many new types of TV sets being sold
  • A handy shopping guide you can print and take to the store if you decide to purchase a new TV

Digital TV 101 is free, and no registration is required. Each idea is presented in one- to four-minute online videos, or you can read the script on the Web site.

PROGRAM UPDATE: Now that the DTV Delay Act has moved the conversion date to June 12, 2009 you can still apply for a coupon if you don't already have one.

Is your coupon lost, stolen or expired?
With the conversion extension, you'll have the opportunity to apply for a replacement coupon. For more information about when coupon replacement will begin, check the government's DTV 2009 update page.

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