U.S. on-base housing areas usually provide 120 VAC, 60 Hz power via wall sockets.
But typically you'll spend some time in off-base housing. PCs usually require just
a US (small prong) to Euro (large prong) AC adapter, if their AC-to-DC Power Adapter
is labeled 120-240 VAC, 50/60 Hz. Carefully look for a 120/240 VAC SWITCH
on the Power Adapter....and other equipment plugged into 240 VAC sockets, cuz
if you don't it will either a) blow a house fuse, b) blow a internal fusible link, c) melt
down internally and/or d) start a FIRE. MOST US electrical equipment requires
a 120/240 VAC Transformer of suitable wattage (volt-amperage) to operate on the
Euro electrical system, operated at say 50% of max power rating....and SOME
equipments can have a problem with the slower 50 Hz frequency such as for
internal cooling fans. When in doubt, CALL the manufacturer.
There should be a military website providing housing & other info for newcomers.
You might want to inquire re cable system channels....in Japan the base provider
included a significant number of the usual US cable channels (e.g. FOX, CMT, PBS)
in addition to AFRTS and a few Japanese language channels....and finally...Hi-Def.
AFN Naples: http://www.cnic.navy.mil/Naples/About/TenantCommands/AFN/index.htm
Above website is public domain...some websites may require milnet access.
AFRTS English language channels are usually available from leased converter boxes:
OTA NTSC/ATSC broadcasts are NOT available in Italy.
More info is found in fol. AFN links, incl. the roll-out of ONE Sports High-Def channel:
If living off-base, you can also buy a SAT Receiver from the Base Exchange:
AFRTS only has a small number of channels with limited content, so don't expect
to see the usual ABC/CBS/NBC/FOX lineups....or commercials....which are
replaced by military oriented infomercials. Unfortunately, internet download speeds
might be too slow to support live streaming of programs from U.S. websites...YMMV...
We tried Slingbox live streaming to both Sicily and Japan, but the best we got was
a few seconds in between breakups....and Skype wasn't much better....
Nearly ALL U.S. equipment support 60 Hz type ONLY refresh rates on various I/F's
(Video, S-Video, Component & HDMI) and hence are INCOMPATIBLE with MOST
Euro equipment, such as set-top box converters, DVD/Blu-Ray Players, etc. which
typically use 50 Hz type refresh interfaces. Only "HD-Ready" Euro equipment,
"Multi-System HDTVs" and "Universal DVD/Blu-Ray Players" support both I/F types
(and usually support both AC power systems).
Unless you understand rapid-fire Italian (or intend to) you might want to simply watch
AFN on your "US ONLY" HDTV...which MAY include a few local Italian channels.
But if you want to watch OTA DVB-T, you'll need to either 1) buy a DVB-T capable
HDTV upon arrival in Italy (which MIGHT be usable upon return to U.S....or resell it)
or alternatively 2) buy a MULTI-SYSTEM HDTV which supports 50 Hz refresh rates
for DVB-T OTA and "PAL" I/F for Euro STB & DVD Players and 60 Hz "NTSC" refresh
rates on various I/F's (Video, S-Video, Component & HDMI). But in the links below,
I didn't find ANY fully Universal set that would do BOTH ATSC and DVB-T OTA....only
one or the other.
You should read through fol. U.S. to Euro HDTV thread (esp. my posts):
And check out UNIVERSAL HDTV and UNIVERSAL Blu-Ray Player links,
et. al. in the fol. similar U.S. to Australia HDTV thread (esp. my posts):
Note that there are many "flavors" of OTA DVB-T, so if you decide to buy a set in Italy,
make sure it ALSO supports as many other country "flavors" as possible, in case you find
yourself relocated again...and BTW, Japan & China are entirely DIFFERENT OTA systems...
You should also be aware that Europe is just now introducing the "DVB-T2" enhancement,
so you might want to inquire as to WHEN it will be available in your area and if it makes
sense to look for a compatible new HDTV....or use a compatible OTA STB....which probably
only outputs 50 Hz type interfaces....unless they've improved their STBs since last I looked.Edited by holl_ands - 8/1/12 at 6:48pm