WOOD TV8 and the other television stations in the market will …
WOOD TV8 and the other television stations in the market will …
Get coupons for a digital converter box.
Everything you need to know about the change to DTV.
Learn more about HDTV on WOOD TV's digital channel 7.
WOOD TV Director of Engineering Mike Laemers demonstrates step …
Need an outdoor antenna for better digital reception?
Based on geographical maps and signal strengths, this site finds the best antenna for …
There are people you can call about the digital signal and the converter box.
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WOOD TV operates on digital channel 7. This is the same channel…
Updated: Monday, 20 Apr 2009, 10:09 AM EDT
Published : Wednesday, 11 Oct 2000, 3:28 PM EST
You can see us in HDTV on WOOD TV's digital channel 7. Also on your reciever, you'll find these signals:
on 8-1 watch our WOOD TV in HD
on 8-2, watch WXSP-TV
on 8-3, watch Live Doppler Network
The arrival of digital television has been the most significant advancement in television technology since the medium was created more than 50 years ago. On August 14, 1999, WOOD TV8 became the first station in West Michigan to broadcast digital television.
What is Digital TV?
Digital TV is an entirely new way of transmitting and receiving television broadcast signals. Increased efficiency and accuracy in data transfer allows digital TV to provide larger, sharper pictures along with DVD-quality sound.
What is "analog" TV?
Analog TV is what most people are referring to when they say "regular" or "normal" television. Analog TV technology has been the American standard for the last 50 years. To say a TV is "analog" is to describe the way it transmits a broadcast television signal. Unlike digital TV, where information is transmitted in digital bits, analog TV transmits signals on continuously-varying electronic waves. Due to their style of transmission, analog broadcasts are rather susceptible to interference. Things like electronic devices, passing air traffic and bad weather can all lead to various forms of image quality degradation -- like static and fuzz -- sometimes seen in analog television.
What is High Definition Television / HDTV?
High Definition Television, or HDTV, is just a form (albeit the highest form) of digital television. Featuring ultra-sharp picture resolution and multi-channel audio, it offers unmatched audio and visual quality when it comes to television broadcasting.
What is the difference between an analog TV set and an HDTV set?
Aside from their differences in broadcast transmission, analog TV and HDTV are also quite different in terms of the actual television set. One such difference is in screen size and shape. HDTVs feature a 16:9 aspect ratio (16 units wide for every 9 units high) whereas analog televisions feature a 4:3 ratio (4 units wide for every 3 units high). HDTV's 16:9 ratio is much wider and more rectangular than analog's almost square 4:3 ratio. This not only makes HDTV's presentation more similar to that found in movie theatres, but also makes it more congruent to human beings' normal plane of vision -- thus heightening the visual experience.
A second difference between HDTV sets and analog TV sets is in screen resolution. HDTVs feature much higher screen resolutions than analog TVs do. In fact, HDTVs typically have around 6 times the resolution of normal televisions. Whereas analog televisions have 480 horizontal scanning lines of resolution, HDTVs have 1,080. And whereas normal televisions have around 300,000 pixels of total resolution, HDTVs have around 2 million. These added lines and pixels help HDTVs present sharper, clearer images that are vastly superior to their analog counterparts.
One last difference between analog TV sets and HDTV sets is in their audio capabilities. Whereas analog TVs offer only 2 channel stereo sound, HDTVs offer 5.1 channel digital surround sound. So, on top of their greatly enhanced visual capabilities, HDTVs also offer enhanced audio capabilites as well.
All told, these differences help HDTV provide a much more exciting and life-like viewing experience than regular televisions.
What is there to watch on HDTV?
WOOD TV and NBC broadcast numerous shows in HDTV. Click here to see the current program schedule. They include ER, Law & Order, Tonight Show with Jay Leno and many others. WOOD TV8 broadcasts its HDTV signal on channel 7 from our tower in Middleville, Michigan. In addition to WOOD TV8's HDTV signal, you can also find WXSP and 24 Hour News 8 Live Doppler Network on channel 7.
Will TV stations ever broadcast only in digital? If so, when will this happen?
Yes, they will. The FCC originally set down the date of December 31, 2006 for the total transition to be complete. However, that date was passed because the general population was slow in upgrading their television sets. At the time, the decision was to let stations continue to broadcast an analog signal until 85% of the population in their given region had switched to digital television.
Congress later passed a law that required television stations to turn off their analog transmitters on February 17, 2009.
An extension was made in early February 2009 to allow stations to make this switch on June 12, 2009. WOOD TV8, along with nearly all stations in the Grand Rapids area, will make the switch on June 12.
So, when stations make the transition to digital, I'll be forced to buy a new TV?
Not at all. You will be able to continue using your existing television, even after the broadcasts have completely transitioned to digital. It is possible to purchase a box-top converter that simply takes the digitally-broadcast signal and translates it into a message your analog TV can understand. Current prices for these converters range from around $50 - $60 at any major electronics store. Be aware though: while this converter will allow you to go on using your old television, it will not upgrade your TV to display images in high definition. To see high definition, you will need a TV that is specifically built and equipped to display high definition images.
Is there an additional charge to receive an HDTV broadcast?
No, there is not. Just like analog broadcasting, on-air high definition broadcasting is provided at no cost to the viewer.
How much does an HDTV set cost?
The price for an HDTV set will depend on a number of things, including the size, technology and brand. A larger, HDTV (40 inches and up) will typically cost between $1,000 - $3,000. Smaller HDTVs are also available in the $500 rnage.
What is the difference between TV's advertised as "HDTV" and those advertised as being "HD Ready"?
This is something to look out for if you're in the market for buying an HDTV. A TV advertised as "HD Ready" is not the same as a fully equipped HDTV. A TV that is "HD Ready" is one that, while capable of delivering high definition television, is not properly equipped to do so right out of the box. In essence, an "HD Ready" television lacks the ATSC tuner/decoder that actually deciphers the on-air HD broadcast. True HDTV sets, on the other hand, are completely to both decipher high definition images and display them on screen.
That's not to say that advertising a TV as "HD Ready" is a trick. In fact, getting an "HD Ready" TV could have distinct advantages for some buyers. There are currently 3 methods for receiving high definition signals -- satellite, on-air, and digital cable. Fully HD-equipped televisions come supplied to receive only one of those: the on-air signal. Some TV viewers, however, may not be able to take advantage of an on-air signal due to their geographic location. For such people, buying a television with a built-in, on-air tuner would be a waste of money. Thus, manufacturers make both HD and HD Ready televisions, allowing the buyer to decide for him or herself the method by which he or she wants to receive the HD signal.
What else should consumers look for when shopping for a new HDTV set?
Be aware that within the realm of HDTV, there exist a wide variety of technologies. A number of major companies have found different methods to get a TV to display an image in high definition. These methods include CRT, Projection, Plasma, DLP, LCD and LCOS technology. Obviously, it will be up to you to decide which is best -- which technology best suits your needs. Unfortunately, that decision may not be so cut and dry, as each technology has its own definite pros and cons. It is highly recommended that anyone looking into buying a new HDTV do some good research on the options. To help you on your way to understanding the various options open to you, here is a very basic breakdown of the technologies involved in HDTV:
1. CRT (cathode-ray tube, or "direct view" televisions)
CRT televisions somewhat resemble old analog televisions both in their physical appearance and technology. While they are considered to be bulky in shape and weight, they nonetheless deliver a decent, bright picture with good contrast -- and for a significantly cheaper price than other technologies!
Price range: around $500 - $1,500
2. Projection (CRT)
Although they don't use very advanced technology, CRT projection televisions are still capable of high definition display. The picture is sometimes not as pristine as it is with other technologies, however, and image-intensity can wane near the edges of the screen. Still, projection televisions can also be relatively cheap, as far as HDTVs go.
Price range: around $1,000 - $3,500
Plasma televisions use a very unique technology to display their images. Instead of projecting the image, a Plasma television actually composes its image right at the screen surface by using a matrix of tiny, gas-filled cells that, when electronically stimulated, generate the appropriate color. Sleek and slim in their design Plasma TVs can be a top choice for consumers with space issues on the mind. More importantly, they deliver an incredibly vibrant, color-saturated picture that many people believe to be beyond compare. However, they are also the most costly.
Price range: around $2,000 - $35,000+
4. DLP (digital light processing)
DLP televisions fall into the major category of rear projection, but use a highly-advanced technology within that category which sets them apart. DLP TVs use upwards of 1,000,000 microscopic mirrors that precisely reflect light to create an entire image. Sleek, light and thin, DLP televisions are wall-mountable and easy to move. They have a bright picture and are highly resistant to screen "burn" effect.
Price range: around $2,000 - $4,000
5. LCD (liquid crystal display)
LCD televisions feature truly-flat screens. Sleek in their design, LCD televisions are light in weight and only inches thick. This makes them, too, ideal for consumers with space concerns. Other plusses with LCD televisions include their bright, colorful picture, their relatively low electricity use, their cool and quiet running mode, and their high resistance to screen "burn".
Price range: around $700 - $4,000
6. LCOS (liquid crystal on silicon)
An offshoot of LCD technology, LCOS' technology allows it to display incredibly high resolutions. Pixellation is all but eradicated with LCOS technology, making for a pristine image. Like its parent LCD technology, LCOS is also lightweight and generally impervious to "burn-in".
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