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HowStuffWorks.com Takes the Confusion out of the DTV Transition

        | HSW

 Site Offers a Clear Picture on What Consumers Should Know and Do Before June 12

ATLANTA - May 6, 2009 - With the June 12 digital transition deadline fast approaching, HowStuffWorks.com, the Web site famous for its easy-to-understand explanations of how the world works, gives consumers everything they need to make sense of the transition and to ensure they have an uninterrupted TV viewing experience: http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/dtv.htm.

TV Goes Digital

Under a mandate from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), all US television stations must transition from their old, analog signals to new, digital signals by June 12. Despite the extensive coverage of the transition, many viewers are not ready, which means they will soon be left with gray fuzz on their screens.

After June 12, consumers without the appropriate digital TV equipment will be unable to access broadcast channels. While many consumers will be unaffected by the switch, an estimated 3.6 million households* will need to take a few easy steps such as getting a digital converter box. HowStuffWorks.com breaks it down so consumers can determine if they will be affected and what they need to do: http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/digital-converter-box.htm.

"HowStuffWorks.com aims to cut through the confusion around DTV and offers consumers a clear and easy-to-understand look at the transition," said the original mastermind behind HowStuffWorks.com, Marshall Brain. "While many people already have digital-ready TV sets and will not need new equipment, the move to all digital signals represents an important shift in the television viewing experience that impacts every consumer."

Why Digital is Better

Some may wonder what all the fuss is about and whether the transition is really necessary, but digital signals offer clear advantages to the consumer, another reason not to wait to make the switch: http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/digital-converter-box2.htm.

TV Terms to Know

TV terminology is alphabet soup to many people. From aspect ratio to ATSC and frame rate to MPEG-2, the language can sound remote. Get a wide understanding on 16x9 and more:

http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/hdtv2.htm.

What TV Do You Have?

  • Analog TV sets - A TV set that you don't want in your living room on June 12.
  • Digital-ready sets - They should be called standard-definition TV (SDTV) sets. These TVs are normally 480p displays with an analog tuner (for the normal channels 2 through 83) built in. Their maximum resolution is the low 480p SD resolution or DVD quality. Viewers should consider an HDTV set (720p or 1080i/p), which allow consumers to watch TV programs in the highest quality.
  • HDTV-ready sets - These sets are essentially computer monitors able to display 1080i/p resolution in the 16:9 aspect ratio. They may or may not have analog tuners built in.
  • Integrated HDTV sets - These sets have a digital tuner for broadcast DTV signals integrated into an HDTV display. With the standards changing so much, you may end up paying for an integrated tuner that becomes obsolete.

Learn more on buying a digital TV set: http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/dtv5.htm and discover the world of HDTV: http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/hdtv.htm

About HowStuffWorks.com

HowStuffWorks.com (http://www.howstuffworks.com) is an online source of credible, unbiased and easy-to-understand explanations of how the world actually works. The site has won hundreds of awards since its inception, including multiple Webby Awards, Time Magazine's "25 Web Sites We Can't Live Without" and PC Magazine's "Top 100 Web Sites." In December 2007, HowStuffWorks.com was acquired by Discovery Communications (Nasdaq: DISAD) (Nasdaq: DISBD) (Nasdaq: DISCK) and became part of Discovery's digital media strategy. Headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., HowStuffWorks.com was a subsidiary of The Convex Group, a media and technology company, from 2003 to 2007.

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*Nielsen April 12 Survey


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