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April 16, 2008 11:00 AM

Seattle sets forum on digital TV switchover

Posted by Brier Dudley

To help educate people about the switch to digital broacasting coming next February, Seattle City Councilman Bruce Harrell has arranged a public forum at City Hall at noon on April 22.

Topics include:

The transition, how to connect a digital TV converter box, where to get federal coupons for the boxes and how to dispose of old TVs.

Panelists include Seattle Chief Technology Officer Bill Schrier; the city's solid waste director, Timoth Croll; Radio Shack district manager, Greg Jones; Glenn Farley of KING 5 and Comcast spokesman Steve Kipp. The forum will also be broadcast on Channel 21.

Seattle and the FCC have Web sites here and here that explain the switchover and provide some Q&A.

It's not mentioned by the feds, but there are alternatives to a digital converter box, if you have an analog television and don't want to upgrade. If you have cable or satellite TV service, you may not need a converter at all.

Another alternative that's not much more expensive is a digital video recorder or DVD player/recorder with a built-in digital tuner.

If you've said to heck with all the converters and tuners and just bought a new digital-capable TV, here's King County's list of places to dump your old set.

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Gadgets and games | Fun stuff I've written about lately includes Apple's iPhone, Hewlett-Packard's HDX laptop and Microsoft's Halo3. Also on the radar are new digital video boxes such as the Tivo HD and the Vudu.