Continuing annoyances after the OTA digital TV conversion.
While initially excited about the analog to digital conversion that we all went through a few years back, there are still some unresolved issues. Sure, digital has a lot of advantages (including reduced bandwidth and extra channels), but there are still a couple ways that analog was better.
It used to be that analog portable TVs (we’re talking the little 5″ portables, down to the 2″ handhelds) were widely available and quite inexpensive. Trying to find one immediately after the conversion was impossible. Nowadays those with smartphones can stream content over the Internet when it’s available, but there’s still no solid solution for portable OTA digital TV to replace what we lost when analog went away. Internet streaming is nice, but is not a complete replacement as it lacks some of the content and can run you into a bandwidth cap pretty quick.
Available signal is another issue, and is my chief complaint. Back in the analog days, simple rabbit ears were enough to get a usable signal. Might have a little noise/static to it, but it was usable. The digital signals are completely unusable with rabbit ears and even with an antenna on a tower the signal occasionally fade enough for the image to break up. And break up it does. Instead of just having a little static/snow, the image and sound completely stop, jumble up, then come back. So, not only is harder to get a good signal, but if the signal fades the result is far worse.
So, while I mostly enjoy the switch to digital, there’s still those couple of things that were better in the analog days. There may not be a good portable solution, but at least the signal strength can be overcome by buying the biggest possible antenna you can fit. Going by the sizing guides could leave you disappointed.