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Keith McCord ReportingDuring the next few months you'll probably notice an increase in advertising for all sorts of new television sets. Those once really expensive, high-definition digital TV's are coming down in price.
Consider this a very early warning: In February of 2009, the way your television set gets its picture will be different. The analog TV transmission signal, that's been the standard for decades, will be gone for good.
Ted Bollinger, Sales Manager with TV Specialists, says, "They're not going to quit working; it's not a computer thing that they're going to shut down. They'll keep working, it's just that the source of your signal will have to be updated to be able to get the content that you want."
It's being replaced by a digital signal, bringing better picture and sound quality.
The National Association of Broadcasters has already prepared educational TV spots to help explain. Local stations in Salt Lake will soon follow.
Panasonic is going right to the people in its "Living in High Definition" Nationwide Tour! It's a six-month, 120-city campaign featuring a 53-foot expanding semi, complete with all things HD. It's part product promotion, but also a way to let consumers know that things are changing.
Panasonic tour manager Leroy Santana says, "Yes, we are educating the consumers that HD is now the new format. So when it comes to February of '09, everybody will be ready for it."
Pansonic's tour is set up at the R.C. Willey store on Murray through Saturday. What will catch your eye there is what's billed as the world's largest plasma HDTV. At 103 inches it weighs about four to five hundred pounds, the size of a queen size mattress. And it's yours for $70,000!
The most popular HD sets right now are about half that size, with the 50 or 56 inch screens.
For those of us who remember, the change from black and white to color TV was a big deal. HD is a huge deal.