Get The Picture: Preparing For Digital TV - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Get The Picture: Preparing For Digital TV

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WHITE BLUFF, Tenn. - In February, all television stations will broadcast on a digital signal.  

That means if anyone watches TV from an outside antenna, they will need a converter because analog signals will disappear.

But getting one and understanding it takes patience.

The federal government has issued coupons to help people such as White Bluff resident Ronnie Foriest purchase a converter.

Foriest, who enjoys his 40-year-old set, said finding a converter was tough.

Whit Adamson of The Tennessee Association of Broadcasters agrees. Adamson said it's best to get the converter sooner rather than later.

"Plan ahead," Adamson said. "If they're going to keep their old TV's and not get a digital TV, then by all means get the converter box."

For Foriest, it wasn't as easy as it sounds.  Foriest said initially he only found instructions written in Spanish.

"And I don't speak Spanish so I ain't seen no benefit," he said. The

NewsChannel 5 anchor and reporter Steve Hayslip helped him find instructions in English, but then Foriest couldn't pick up NewsChannel 5.

"I lost (NewsChannel) 5 completely," he said, adding that's why he unplugged the box.

An engineer from the network walked him through the process over the phone. The engineer said the signal will come through the converter once the digital conversion happens in 2009.

Foriest's ready to dial it in to keep his old set from going dark.

People only need a converter box if they have an analog set and watch television using an antenna. Cable and satellite subscribers don't need to do a thing.

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