Rabbit-ear snip

Amye Buckley

How you get your TV will tell you if you’ll get signal after June 12.

The Federal Communications Commission is requiring broadcast television stations to transition from analog signal to digital.

Some people will see no change. Cable subscribers with a local channel package will not need to change. Satellite viewers may or may not have local channels included. Locally, DISH network has a $5 add-on package to transmit local channels; DIRECTV does not offer a local channel package in the area.

Viewers who plan on watching local channels with antenna need either a digital television or a digital converter box. Digital TVs are typically fewer than five years old and should be marked as ATSC, digital tuner or high definition.

Receivers on older model televisions will no longer pick up signal without the help of a digital converter box installed between the television and antenna.

“With digital you are getting a better quality picture, more diverse programming, a better picture and better sound,” said William Freedman, associate bureau chief, Media Bureau, FCC.

Digital signal takes up less bandwidth than analog. Freedman said part of the frequencies used by analog signal will become a nationwide interoperable network for first responders. Other parts of the spectrum have been sold to wireless providers, which will allow them to improve cell signal or speed up wireless Internet access.

For those who have converted already converted to digital they see one flaw.

“With digital either you get a picture with perfect quality and sound or you get nothing at all,” Freedman said.

Outlying areas or areas with terrain that obstructs the signal may have some difficulty with the more fragile signal. Antenna, either rabbit-ears or the larger outdoor versions, will help.

Danny Thomas, KOAM, said the station is already getting calls about the transition.

“The thing I’ve come to the conclusion of is that antennas are going to become in vogue,” Thomas said.