According to a report in Betanews, Best Buy is phasing out old analog NTSC sets. The transition to digital is getting well underway. The analog shutoff date is February 2009, and it appears to be a firm date that may prompt other retailers to set their own dates.
It reminds me of when Circuit City stopped selling prerecorded VHS movies. To this day, though, Wal-Mart still sells VHS movies, albeit discounted.
This is a screenshot of WCVB-DT from Boston, picked up on a Hauppauge HVR-1600 on my Vista box with rabbit ears in the hallway. The computer’s in a bedroom that is proving nearly impossible to pick up any TV, analog or digital. Note the signal quality monitor indicating 16 dB SNR; you need at least 15 db to get a usable ATSC signal. (Hauppauge doesn’t specify if their signal monitor measures in dB instead of an arbitrary number, but I’m guessing so since I’ve seen the 15 dB minimum SNR figure in my reference material on ATSC.)
I’ve also tried this with a Terk TV-5 amplified antenna with similar results. I didn’t show you an analog TV signal–all of them are deep in noise. WCVB-DT is the only ATSC signal I’ve gotten in Salem so far, though we are in a good location relative to Boston transmitters. Perhaps I should have put the computer in the living room when I first moved in.
Can’t win: Shortly after I took this picture, the signal faded again and I couldn’t get it back. I’m not into college football anyway.