WAFF-DT: The Future of Television - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

WAFF-DT: The Future of Television

The future of television is here. WAFF 48 is transmitting WAFF-DT over the air on channel 49. The DT in WAFF-DT stands for Digital Television. This is the new type of television signal that will give you a sharper, clearer picture with much more detail and better sound then current TV signals.

Background
The way television is broadcast in this country is changing. High Definition Television or HDTV will soon be the new standard in television.

HDTV is a digital signal, which means you will see the image exactly as it was sent from WAFF. You won’t see anymore snow or ghosts or fuzzy images. You will only see a crisp, clear picture. If you have ever watched a movie on DVD, you already know how much better the picture and sound can be.

But the difference doesn’t stop there. The resolution of your TV will be greater. You will see much more detail and the image will be more life-like. The clarity will be like looking through a window. If you haven’t yet seen a HDTV broadcast, you will be amazed when you do.

The image will also be wider than your current TV screen. Right now TV screens are almost square. They are only slightly wider than they are tall. HDTV is much more rectangular. The image will be almost twice as wide as it is tall. It will be like going to a movie theater.

Your TV
But because this new signal is so different from current TV signals, your current television won’t be able to receive the signal without additional equipment. You will have some options.

  1. You can buy a brand-new Digital TV that is ready to receive a digital signal. These TVs are currently on the market and most TV stores carry them. They are rather expensive right now (well over $1500.00), but the price will come down as more sets are made. This is the best option because with these new TVs, you will be able to see ALL the detail that is being transmitted.
  2. You can buy a set top digital converter box that looks like a cable box. It will take the HDTV signal and convert it so you can see it on your current TV set. If you choose to do this, you will be able to watch the program, but you won’t see the super-crisp picture or all the detail that is being transmitted. That’s because current TVs simply can’t display that much detail.
  3. You can purchase a new video card/DTV tuner for your computer and watch DTV on your computer monitor. While your monitor may not be a large enough screen for the family to gather around, several manufacturers of computer accessories have built DTV tuners on cards that you can install into your PC. Hauppage and ATI are just two vendors making these cards. The price varies from $299 - $499 depending on video memory, and other graphic features of the cards.
  4. You can continue to use your current TV just like you always have for a few more years, but you won’t see the new, digital images. WAFF-TV will continue to broadcast on channel 48 until at least the end of 2006. After that (unless the FCC extends the deadline) our current signal along with all the other analog stations in the country will go off the air. At that point you will have to buy the additional equipment mentioned above to keep watching broadcast television. Even after 2006, your old VCR or DVD player will still work with your old TV just fine.

Which option is right for you right now? Only you can determine if your personal financial position allows the purchase of new equipment. We do urge our viewers to stop in at local retail stores to check out the new DTV ready television sets and decide which is best for you.

More Information
As more information on WAFF-DT becomes available, we will post it here. In the meantime, get ready for television like you have never seen it before.

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