OK, you probably don’t have time to waste watching TV during the academic year, but if there are others in your household who do, and you are a holdout like me (too frugal to pay for cable, a dish, or a new TV!) this info’s for you:
On February 17, 2009 all full-power U.S. TV stations go digital only. If you’ve been relying on free analog TV to see their programming you’ll probably get static.
You can prepare ahead of time to receive digital signals. See http://www.dtv.gov/ for more information about the transition to digital. Until March 31, 2009, all U.S. households may request two $40 coupons to use toward the purchase of digital-to-analog converter boxes. The coupons are good for 90 days, and the converter boxes are available from a number of retailers.
What channels will you likely receive digitally? See AntennaWeb and enter your address for a listing, and for information about the antenna needed for different stations.
If you’d like more information about DTV, there are government web sites to consult, such as the Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources’ information page and the Federal Communications Commission’s Digital TV Transition page. In addition, a simple search of the Library Catalog for “digital television” would find titles such as Buying a digital television (online govt. document), New television, old politics: The transition to digital TV in the United States and Britain (3rd-floor Main Collection HE8700.8 .G35 2004), and Digital television transition: Majority of broadcasters are prepared for the DTV transition, but some technical and coordination issues remain: report to congressional requesters (online Govt. Accountability Office report, April 2008).
The University Library is a federal depository with many federal, state, local, and international documents on a variety of current and relevant issues available to you in print, microfiche, CD-ROM, and electronically. Come check out your government at the University Library!