Ray Child with Comcast talks about what you need to know.
For the estimated 3.5 million households* in the United States that still are not ready for the digital broadcast transition and use “rabbit ears” or rooftop antennas to receive full-power broadcast channels, there are three ways to get ready:
• subscribe to cable or another video service provider,
• buy a new digital TV, or
• purchase a government-approved TV converter box.
Comcast is offering a low-cost solution, including free basic cable for 12 months for new customers who sign up for at least one additional Comcast service**. New customers who choose not to subscribe to an additional Comcast service can get basic cable for just $10 a month for a full year. Current customers can add basic cable to additional TVs at no additional monthly fee. Basic cable in most areas has 20-30 channels, including broadcast (ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, PBS), shopping and local neighborhood public television channels. Since no antenna is needed, choosing cable eliminates the worry about potential reception problems associated with using an antenna following the transition.
Several stations have already made the switch to digital or plan to soon, and depending on consumers’ choice of an over-the-air solution, they may experience varying levels of reception from their local broadcasters due to a variety of factors including type of antenna, broadcaster signal strength, as well as terrain (trees, tall buildings, etc). To help consumers learn more, the FCC has posted an informative and interactive tool that allows consumers to dynamically check via zip code which of their favorite local broadcast stations will be available (and at what strength) after the DTV transition. This tool can be found at:
To learn more about the digital broadcast transition visit www.comcast.com/dtv. Consumers can also call 1-800-COMCAST to talk about cable service options with a customer care representative.
*Source: April 2009 National study conducted by Nielsen Media Research