The DTV transition is now complete. Seems quite a few folks still missed the message, and the FCC received quite a few calls. The real story is many people did just as they were instructed, but still have no picture.
A significant number of people don’t quite have their antenna situation in order. First of all, avoid these tiny “HD or DTV” amplified antenna toys. They’re overpriced and barely work. An amplifier is not the solution. Ironically, the best antennas for DTV are designs that are many years old. In fact, an old fashioned UHF antenna will work great. Rooftop antennas are the best. Radioshack still sells some that look like a series of “v” shaped elements, one after the other. These are the very same antenna designs that adorned rooptops of the 1960’s and 1970’s. If you can’t use an outdoor antenna, look for one of the designs that resembles an oven grill with one or more bow tie shaped metal elements. These are available from companies such as Winegard.
Before you purchase, you should consult Antennaweb.org. This useful website can tell you if the antenna you’re considering is correct for your area, and even more importantly, which way it should be pointed. You see, unlike old analog television that shows a fuzzy image when the signal is weak, DTV will likely show nothing! I believe this is something that many are unaware of. If your equipment manuals are well written, (good luck there) they will make mention of this fact. Those who live in homes or buildings with metal in the structure, or are not in the visual siteline of the transmitter tower will likely have problems. Other than breaking down and getting cable or satelite service, you will likely need to install an external antenna.
If you were receiving a nice clear picture from your analog tuner, you’ll probably be just fine with DTV reception.