WMC-TV 5 engineer explains 'The Big Switch' - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Lori Brown

WMC-TV 5 engineer explains 'The Big Switch'

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - With television stations and viewers just a little over a month away from the transition from analog to digital signals, myths and mystery about exactly what you have to do to prepare are still everywhere.

According to Dave Evans, the director of engineering at WMC-TV 5, in world of television, the digital transition will be the biggest event since color.

"This is a monumental change for TV," Evans said. "When TV came to have color, it was a big deal.  This is an even bigger change than that."

According to Evans, even if you have an older TV, you will still see a difference in the quality of your picture after the switch.

"It's a much higher resolution picture," he said. "The signal to noise is much higher because it's pure digital."

The improved picture quality is something all viewers should notice.

"Once you see an HD picture you're going to have such a love for it, you're not going to want to go back," Evans said.

But to see that picture at all, you need to make sure you're ready.

"If you've got cable or satellite you're ready for the transition you don't need to do anything," Evans said.

However, if you rely on an antenna, you will need to have a television with a digital tuner, or you will need purchase a digital converter box.  As an alternative, you can subscribe to a cable or satellite service, but you aren't required to.

"A lot of people think they must have cable or satellite to receive HD," Evans said "That's not true. You can receive our signal over the air and with an antenna, and watch HD for free. Free TV is still alive and well. It's not going anywhere."

For more information about the digital transition, including how to apply for a coupon good for $40 off the purchase of a digital converter box, click here.


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