Digital Switch Hits Glitches

Ahead of transition, viewers struggle to receive digital signals
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 21, 2009 5:26 AM CST
Many viewers are expected to have to upgrade to high-end converter boxes or endlessly tinker with antennas to get all the channels they had before the digital switch.   (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
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(Newser) – The big switch to digital TV may be less than a month away but many viewers are finding the transition anything but smooth, the Washington Post reports. Consumers are discovering that getting a converter box for older analog sets or buying a new digital TV doesn't always guarantee good reception. Many are expected to lose channels if they don't buy more powerful antennas.

To get all the channels they had before the switch, some viewers will have to buy pricey high-end converter boxes ineligible for the $40 government-sponsored coupons—or adjust the antenna for every channel change. All full-power stations plan to shut off their analog signals for good on February 17, although President Obama is pushing for the switch to be postponed.