It's been over a decade (hard to believe right?) since TV stations shut down their analog broadcasts and fully transitioned to digital. The day when your grandmother's old Zenith TV she had forever was no longer useful and she finally had to upgrade. The industry is once again making major changes for the way viewers watch TV.

What changes are we to expect?

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Despite streaming and cable being mainstay, according to a study found that about a fifth of Americans still watch TV with an old fashion antenna. Whether it's just plain rabbit-ears or a rooftop antenna. Especially if you live where cable isn't available and can't afford satellite. There's a new technology on the horizon known as "NexGen TV" which promises to have better reception and sharper picture quality. But the transition hasn't been smooth.

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What are the benefits of NexGen TV?

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If you just recently went shopping for a TV, you probably noticed how they advertise "4K Ultra HD and high dynamic range." Believe or not, this is not an actual sales gimmick that you might think. New TV sets can in fact display images with far more detail, richer color and deeper contrast than their predecessors. For example, streaming services like Netflix have been streaming "4K" video for years, and now traditional broadcasters are catching up with the times.

Is there a deadline when I have to upgrade?

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As of right now, there is no actual cut off date for current digital viewers as this technically still on the "experimental" level. NextGen TV will be the biggest change to broadcast TV since 2009, when stations shut down the analog signals that they'd been transmitting since the 1940s and transitioned fully to digital. The rollout of NextGen TV, also known as ATSC 3.0, actually began three years ago. Today, it's available to around three-quarters of Americans, but it's mostly in major cities.

Just the like the digital transition 15 years ago when viewers had to upgrade their TVs or get a digital convertor box, the FCC is requiring TV stations to continue using the current format alongside with the new one through at least mid-2027. But given the current circumstances, this transition period could get extended.

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