According to this CNN article, it appears that the digital TV conversion has been delayed until June 12, 2009.
There are three ways you can go:
1. Get the converter box and hook it up to your old TV (you may need to replace your existing antenna)
2. Subscribe to cable or statellite service.
3. Purchase a new TV that has a digital tuner already installed in it (you may need to replace your existing antenna).
Concerning the possible antenna replacement, be aware that the digital signal may not reach as far as the old analog signal did. Sooooo, if you are farther away from the TV Stations transmitting antenna, you may not have digital service. If you signal is weak now, you may not recieve the digital signal.
For example….in my installation using the old TV’s rabbit ears…I had some issues getting a signal. We are about 60 miles from Sacramento.
In short: If you have an antenna on your roof, and the signal is strong you “should” be ok. But there are no guarantees.
If you buy a new TV your antenna may also need replacement. If you get a converter box, again your antenna may need replacement, and you may be left with wire mess.
My advice? If you can, subscribe to Cable or Satellite. I know this may be expensive, but, there are basic packages that are relatively inexpensive and they future proof your old TV. At least for now.