Is Your TV Ready for Digital? Enter the Manufacturer and Model No.
Mitsubishi, RCA, Sony, JVC and Toshiba make it simple to determine if your TV is ready for the switch to digital on June 12, 2009
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June 11, 2009 by Julie Jacobson

Is your TV ready for the digital transition tomorrow? You can do the generic DTV transition research, but several manufacturers make it a lot easier to determine if your TV is good to go—just enter the model number.

Here is the quick reference guide. Read below for additional information and a ranking for user-friendliness.

JVC
Mitsubishi
RCA
Sony
Toshiba


1. Mitsubishi

Mitsubishi makes it as painless as possible to determine if your TV is ready for digital. On Mitsubishi-TV.com home page, click the “DTV Transition” button.

That takes you to a landing page. Simply enter your TV model number and it will tell you yeah or nay.

I tried a VS-5055 and got this reply:

Your television does not have a digital tuner. You will need a digital-to-analog converter box or subscribe to a cable, satellite, or fiber-optic TV provider to continue receiving a television signal. To find out how to obtain a digital to analog converter box, please go to http://www.dtv.gov. If you are already connected to a television subscription service, such as cable or satellite, you do not need to do anything further.


2. RCA

RCA’s tool is fairly simple to find, and the company gets points for humor.

Model 20V500T, I learned was not ready for the transition. A hippy in the lotus position explains:

Your antique, er, television doesn’t have a built-in digital tuner. … Would this be a bad time to mention how affordable our flatscreen HDTVs are?

3. Sony
Sony’s DTV support page is harder to find and more challenging to use, but the information it provides is very good.

Type in your model number and then click on the text that says: “04/02/2008: Critical: Is my Sony television ready for the Digital TV (DTV) transition?”

I tried an old KP-51WS520 and got this reply:

Your Sony KP-51WS520 television has an analog tuner, so you may need a digital tuner or a converter box to continue to receive over-the-air programming.
If you subscribe to a cable or satellite service, your television viewing should not be affected by the June 12, 2009, cut-off date for full-power analog broadcasting. Please contact your service provider for complete information.

Sony then provides some background information on the DTV transition, as well as three options for enduring the shift to digital:

  • Purchase a Converter Box to Use With Your Analog Television
  • Purchase a New Television With a Digital Tuner (with a little friendly reminder to please recycle responsibly
  • Subscribe to a Cable or Satellite Service

4. Toshiba, JVC (tied)
Toshiba‘s DTV tool is straight-forward: If your model is listed here, then you’re good to go.

Ditto for JVC. If your model number is on this list, you’ll get your bright shiny picture tomorrow.

The Other TV Manufacturers

LG/Zenith requires some legwork to find out if you have a DTV-friendly display.

They suggest here: “To see if your LG or Zenith Television has a digital tuner, the back of your owner’s manual should show the *ATSC (DTV) Tuner specification. (See example below).”

Good luck with that.

Panasonic does not have a search-by-model feature. The company refers consumers to the DTV transition page at livinginhd.com.

I was unable to locate any DTV finders for Samsung, Pioneer or Sharp but will add them to this roundup if I any resources for those brands.

 

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Julie Jacobson - Editor-at-large, CE Pro
Julie Jacobson is co-founder of EH Publishing and currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro, mostly in the areas of home automation, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration. She majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has never taken a journalism class in her life. Julie is a washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player with the scars to prove it. Follow her on Twitter @juliejacobson.

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