I called the SHARP company today, and cable subscribers in 2009 will need either a set top box for older tv's, if you have a tv bought today it will provide digital signal. If the letters are right NTCS or ATCS TUNERS, Qam. is for HD, NO SET TOP BOX THEN REQUIRED.
So in my case my 6 other tvs will go dark on cable without a set top box in 2009, if i have one of the newer ones, "NO SET TOP BOX will be required".
This is cable only, i did not get into antnna situations.
The coupons the govt are providing for purchase of set top boxes will convert the old tvs, cable or antenna as i understand.
Call the Sharp company 800 # let me know.