IF YOU PURCHASED your HDTV or components
from Costco, either in the warehouses or online
at costco.com, your purchases are covered by
Costco Concierge, a free tech-support program
for TVs and other consumer electronics. Costco
Concierge can answer setup questions if
you get stuck. It can be reached toll-free at
HDTV RESOURCE LIST
• Samsung HDTV guide: Enter “Samsung
HD TV Guide” in Google, then select
“The HDTV Guide.”
• Consumer Electronics Association
• CNET Home Theater Guide:
• Alfred Poor’s HDTV resource center:
• Philips HDTV Video Learning Center:
• HDTV for Dummies, by Danny Briere and
Pat Hurley (Wiley Publishing Inc., 2005)
• HDTV Magazine’s An HD TV Primer
• The Home Electronics Survival Guide,
by Barb Gonzalez
( www.home-electronics-survival.com) A
COMING SOON: THE DIGITAL TV CONVERSION
The digital revolution is coming to television • You do not subscribe to any pay TV service
broadcast transmissions. If you rely on an such as cable or satellite.
antenna to receive your TV signal, you may have • Your TV does not have a built-in digital
to make changes before February 17,2009. TV tuner.
At midnight on that day, all full-power So what do you do? You have two options:
television stations in the United States will
stop broadcasting in analog and switch to • You can purchase a TV converter box. This
100 percent digital broadcasting. Digital box plugs into your TV and will keep it
broadcasting promises to provide a clearer working after February 17, 2009. Note that a
picture and more programming options, digital over-the-air signal may not reach your
while freeing up airwaves for use by area as the analog signal did.
emergency responders. • You can upgrade to a subscription service.
A simple checklist can determine whether Fortunately, the government will help you
your TV will be affected by this change. You purchase a TV converter box. Thanks to the TV
will not be affected if: Converter Box Coupon Program, U.S. households
• You subscribe to cable programming wishing to keep using their analog TV sets can
(with or without a cable box). obtain up to two coupons, each worth $40,
that can be applied toward the cost of eligible
• You subscribe to satellite TV programming. converter boxes at participating retailers.
• Your TV was manufactured after Other options are to connect to cable, satellite
March 1, 2007, ensuring that it has or other pay service, or purchase a TV with a
a built-in digital TV tuner. built-in digital tuner.
• Your TV set was manufactured before For complete details on the digital TV
March 1, 2007, but you are certain that conversion plan, see these Web sites:
it has a built-in digital TV tuner. www.dtv2009.gov
On the other hand, you will need special www.dtv.gov
equipment if: www.dtvanswers.com
• You receive TV programming via rabbit
ears or an outside antenna.
Step 4: Ready, set ... action!
With your system all set up, it’s time to enjoy the HDTV home theater
experience. Read the owner’s manuals for your components to make sure
everything is configured together, such as your DVD player and your HDTV.
Often, the basics are covered in a “quick start” guide.
Make sure you indeed have an HD signal, either from a cable or satellite
TV service or an over-the-air antenna, or from your Blu-ray Disc player. Non-HD
content is not as impressive on your new HDTV. And make sure you’re tuning to
an HD channel; it may have a different number than the analog channel.
Once everything is in place, sit back and enjoy the show. A
Alfred Poor is an independent expert in the display industry, and is the author of the
HDTV Almanac, http://hdtvprofessor.com/HDTVAlmanac, a free online site with daily
news and commentary about HDTV and related home entertainment topics.