Are You Ready for the Digital TV Transition?
Tuesday, February 17, 2009, television stations around the country will begin the
transition from broadcasting an analog
signal to a digitial signal. What this means is if you
have one or more analog televisions that receive free over-the-air
TV programming with an
outdoor antenna or “rabbit ears” on the TV, you will need to be prepared. You have
options: 1) purchase and connect a “digital-to-analog converter box” to your analog TV; 2)
a digital television (a TV with a built-in digital tuner); or 3) subscribe to a paid
service such as cable or satellite
TV. Each U.S. household is eligible to receive two $40
coupons to be used toward the purchase of two digital-to-analog
What Is The DTV Delay Act?
Congress recently passed the DTV Delay Act,
which extends the deadline for full-power
broadcast TV stations to complete the DTV
transition from February 17, 2009, to June 12,
2009. The new law allows
more time for consumers to be prepared for the DTV transition.
However, Congress did not require stations to continue
broadcasting in analog after
February 17th, and stations may choose to complete their transition, and stop broadcasting
in analog, before June 12th.
Even though the DTV transition deadline has been pushed back, your local broadcast
may complete the transition before June 12th. Broadcast stations are required to
notify their viewers before shutting
off their analog channels. If you are not yet prepared for
the DTV transition, it’s important to prepare. It’s
also important to watch your local
broadcast channels for on-air announcements or you may contact them directly for
What Should I Do Now?
Digital broadcast television
programming is available now, so enjoy the many benefits of
DTV by preparing now. Benefits include more channels, better
quality picture and sound,
on-screen program guides, and more. If you have not yet applied for your converter box
coupons, you should do so now. However, you should also prepare at least one TV in your
home now by purchasing a converter
box, installing it, and ensuring that you can receive the
digital channels in your area before the analog channels are
shut off. Or, you may wish to
subscribe to a paid service such as cable or satellite TV.
For more information
on the Digital-to-Analog Converter Box Coupon Program or to apply
for coupons, visit www.dtv2009.gov, or call 1-888-388-2009. For more information about
the DTV transition, go to
www.dtv.gov or contact the FCC by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org;
calling 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322) voice
or 1-888-TELL-FCC (1-888-835-5322)
faxing 1-866-418-0232; or writing to:
Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau
Consumer Inquiries and Complaints Division
12th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20554.