Ask PYS: Entertainment

Glenn, on Sep 08, 2011 asked:

If I have an older analog Shakespeare marine television antenna. I understand that shortly they will no longer be providing analog service, so do I upgrade or is there a converter I can purchase?

Hi Glenn,

There are two things that need to be addressed:

  1. Whether or not the antenna can pick up the digital signals
  2. Whether the TV can tune to them

The newer antennas from Shakespeare and Glomax are designed to pick up both analog and digital signals. I have also witnessed old Shakespeare antennas pick up digital signals just fine too. The bigger issue is the TV. Most newer flat screen TVs have a built-in digital tuner (ATSC) but not all. Old TV’s won’t have it. A digital tuner is required to watch the new digital channels. If it’s not built into the TV you’ll need to buy a converter box for each TV. With the right antenna and an ATSC compatible HD TV, you’ll also pick up over the air HD channels, which have been out for a few years now without much knowledge. In Vancouver harbour you’ll pick up 4 or 5 HD channels for free as clear as your HD cable at home. You will most likely have to do a channel scan in the TV menu to pick up the digital channels and redo the scan when you move to different locations that have different channels.