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• No, you do not have to subscribe to cable or satellite to get digital/HD broadcasts. Chances are most, if not all, of your local stations are broadcasting in digital, if not HD and can be rec'd using a standard UHF and/or VHF antenna.
• There is no such thing as a digital/HD-specific antenna. The same antennas made a few years ago are still being sold today and work just fine for digital TV. The manufacturers simply stuck stickers on the boxes or re-printed the boxes they use to include "Digital" and/or "HDTV".
• When analog broadcasts cease (scheduled for Feb 2009), you do not need to get an HDTV. Using your existing analog TV, you just need something to convert the digital signal to what your set can display. Digital-to-analog converter boxes will be produced for this purpose and coupons (limited quantity) will be made available by the US gov't to subsidize the cost of purchasing these.
• Digital cable or satellite is not the same as digital (OTA) broadcasting. The change-over date will not affect you (unless your provider wants to force you into a potentially higher cost tier of service).
Credit for this FAQ entry belongs to JTC