To watch digital television on their existing sets, WAFF's viewers will have to obtain a digital converter box. DTV information is encoded in a different way from the analog television signal and therefore will require a different kind of receiver. Manufacturers are developing converter boxes that will allow viewers to receive programs broadcast on DTV channels on their analog TV sets. However, in order to experience the full benefits of digital television, including HDTV, viewers will need new digital television sets.
How much will these new digital sets cost? According to the Wall Street Journal, sales of digital TV receivers this year are "expected to be around $3,000 to $7,000." However, it is likely that prices will fall rapidly. Consumer electronics manufacturers have a track record of quickly adapting complex technology so that it becomes affordable and accessible to the general public. It was not too many years ago that a large, bulky cell phone was priced at around $2,000.
People with computers may be some of the first to take advantage of WAFF's digital broadcasts. While digital television sets are still fairly expensive, you can buy a video decoder card for around $200 that will allow you to see digital television on your computer.