As more and more countries make the move from analog to digital television broadcasts, many people wonder how they can make the adjustment and watch digital TV any time they like. The fact is there are several different ways you can still watch your favorite programs, even if the signal conversion has taken place in your area. Some require contracting with an ongoing service, while other methods require a one-time purchase. There is even one strategy that will allow you to watch digital TV at no additional cost whatsoever.
The most obvious way to make sure you can watch digital TV is to purchase a new television set that is configured to receive digital signals. While sets of this type were somewhat expensive in the past, a number of manufacturers are now offering models that are moderately priced. This is particularly true in countries where analog television signals have been discontinued.
However, you can choose to keep your old reliable television set, and avoid the expense of purchasing a new one. In order to be able to watch digital TV on your old set, you will need what is known as a signal converter. Also called digital TV receivers or digital TV boxes, these simple devices connect to older sets and convert incoming digital signals into analog signals that older sets can receive. While it is possible to spend a great deal of money for a converter, there are a number of budget units that work just as well as their more expensive counterparts.
Another approach is to subscribe to a cable or satellite television service. With both these options, the service provider handles the conversion from digital to analog for you. There is no need to buy a converter box if you are connected to a cable or satellite service, as the signal is converted before it ever reaches your set. Services of this type usually come with a set monthly fee, based on the number of channels you wish to receive.
However, there is one way to watch digital TV that does not require you to buy a new digital television, get a converter box for your older analog set, or subscribe to a satellite or cable television service. Instead of watching television on a TV set, simply switch on your computer. If you have a high-speed connection, such as DSL, and a computer with enough RAM, you can watch almost all your favorite programs online. There are a number of free television web sites that allow you access to a number of channels all over the world. In addition, many major television networks offer online broadcasts of their more popular television shows, making it possible for you to watch what you like whenever you like.
For people who have grown disenchanted with cable and satellite services, you may be interested to know that many broadcast stations now operate one to four sub-channels along with their main channel. All these channels are digital; available over the air; and usually carry unique programming, such as old movies, how to shows, and sporting events. This means that if you live in an area where four broadcast channels are in operation, you could use a converter box with an antenna, or buy a new digital television, and watch digital TV on as many as twenty different channels, without the need for a monthly cable bill.