DTV Transition: FAQs
Here's a list of some common questions and answers related to the analog-to-digital transition, coming on June 12, 2009.
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June 08, 2009 by Kim Wilson

USING THE CONVERTER BOX

Will I still be able to tape my shows to my VCR?
Yes. The other analog equipment you currently use will continue to work with (output to) your analog TV set just as before, but they will not be able to receive over-the-air programming without the TV converter box. Attach the converter to your VCR, TiVo, DVD-R, etc. instead of hooking it directly to your TV. You must set the tuner in the DTV converter box to the channel you want to record prior to the start of each recording period programmed in the VCR.

Will the DTV transition effect my Closed Captioning?
It should not. The NTIA (National Telecommunications and Information Association), who is overseeing the transition, requires that all new converter boxes continue to provide Closed Captioning.

How does digital TV use closed captions?
Closed captioning for digital TV offers more choices of font, color, and size, resulting in better visibility and ease of use. Digital TV carries captions as data along with the digital audio and video content, however, the captions are not embedded in the video signal like analog TV. So that means, it’s up to the originator of the programming to provide the captions for any given program.  When the captions are decoded and displayed, the resulting text and symbols appear on the screen. The caption decoding function, by U.S. government mandate, is included in all digital TVs that have a screen size 13 inches or larger. It is also included in all separate, stand-alone digital TV tuners (e.g., set top boxes or “STBs”). In either case, the digital TV tuner reads the closed caption data, interprets it, and writes it into the video so it becomes visible when the video is displayed on a screen.

Will I be able to get HD with the converter box?
No. This is not a substitute for a high definition TV because analog televisions are not capable of displaying high definition resolution. However, picture quality on your analog TV should be improved when using the converter box. If you want to view High-Definition TV, then you will need one of the newer sets rated for “High-Definition” resolution. The converter box only makes it possible for consumers to continue using an older analog TV and receive free-TV via antenna.

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