Also, some of the spectrum will be auctioned to companies that will be able to provide consumers with more advanced wireless services (such as wireless broadband).
Consumers also benefit because digital broadcasting allows stations to offer improved picture and sound quality, and digital is much more efficient than analog.
Digital signals use wireless spectrum much more efficiently than analog signals, which is why the government mandated the switch in the first place.
Congress set the February 17, 2009, deadline so that the government could free up wasted spectrum so that it could be used to build more robust emergency wireless networks, as well as provide the private sector with more spectrum that could be used to develop new wireless broadband services. And after February, service providers who won licenses in those auctions will be able to get to work building their next-generation wireless networks.
Using analog signals, broadcasters can only transmit one channel of content at a time.
Television as we know is about to change drastically in the U. in February when broadcasters switch solely to transmitting digital signals.
And even though there are many benefits to this transition, there are also a few downsides.
To the highest bidder, the government auctioned off the frequency spectrum used by companies sending analog signals. The idea is analog needs more space between frequency signals in order to transmit.
Analog signals too close together will interfere with one another.
"Digital broadcast will vastly improve free TV viewing," said Graham Jones, the director of communications engineering for the science and technology department of the National Association of Broadcasters.