Digital vs. Analogue

closePlease note: This post was published over a year ago, so please be aware that its content may not be quite so accurate anymore. Also, the format of the site has changed since it was published, so please excuse any formatting issues.

As you know, on February 17th, all analog television signals will be turned off in favor of digital. I know you know this, because if you’ve been alive and watching T.V. for the past year, you can’t miss the incessant running of PSAs trumpeting this new age of television broadcasting.

You know what part of the switch I’m looking forward to the most? The fact that we won’t have to hear about the upcoming switch anymore. The PSAs are so condescending – they treat people like idiots. Although, according to recent news, a lot of people are unprepared or confused, so perhaps the hand-holding is warranted.

Morah and I bought our converter boxes back in November (and I was able to set it up without having to be told how by a news anchor, thank you very much). At that point in time, I was impressed by the clarity of the image. Now, however, I’m often unable to get a clear signal at all.

The first hiccup came with the cold weather. I assumed that the heavy snow was interfering with the broadcast. As the snow let up, the reception improved. Further fueling my suspicion is that fact that it has been quite foggy in Spokane lately, and once again the reception has been poor. In fact, a couple of nights ago, it got so bad that we gave up and decided not to watch T.V. at all.

I grabbed the remote controls for the converter box and television to turn them off. I didn’t consciously decide to turn the converter box off first; I just happened to be holding its remote control in my right hand. When I did, it kicked into analog pass-through mode.

The signal came in perfectly.

Whereas the digital image had been littered with artifacts, the analog signal was generally free from blemished. The digital audio had come through intermittently, but the analog audio was clear and continuous.

If digital reception is going to be determined by the weather, maybe I’ll take my converter boxes back, get my money back, and stop watching television altogether.

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  1. SPEAKING of converter boxes, remember that coupon program? Yeah, they ran out of money. The day I applied for my coupon (Jan 5th).

    No joke.

    So, unless they get more money from Congress (is that likely?) there’s no coupon for Phoenix. Maybe converter box prices will come down after the changeover. Eventually.

    I also noticed the channels going out in inclement weather (ABC and PBS here). But I don’t really watch live TV anyway, so it hasn’t been too much of an issue. ^_^

  2. We don’t watch much live T.V. either. Morah usually watched the news in the morning, and we sometimes watch stuff live, but for the most part, the quality online is just as good (if not better).

  3. Today’s DTV Switch

    In what has been described as, “the most significant advancement of television technology since color TV was introduced,” the U.S. Congress declared today, February 17th, 2009, to be the date on which over-the-air broadcasters must cease their analog s…

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