Digital Television Transition
On June 12, 2009 Your TV May Stop Receiving Television Programming!
By law, full-power television stations nationwide must end their analog broadcasts and begin broadcasting exclusively in a digital format after June 12, 2009. While the benefits of DTV are remarkable, millions of households that receive broadcast TV through antennas risk losing reception unless they upgrade and take the steps to receive a digital signal. Read our Frequently Asked Questions below for more information about how you can prepare for the switch to DTV
Converter Box Details
A DTV converter box is an easy-to-install electronic device that hooks up to your analog television set and over-the-air antenna. The box converts the digital television signal into an analog format, making it viewable on your analog TV set. The U.S. Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) is issuing each household up to two $40 coupons to help defray the cost of converter boxes
What is DTV?
Digital television (DTV) is an innovative new type of over-the-air broadcasting technology that enables TV stations to provide dramatically clearer pictures and better sound quality.
DTV is more efficient and more flexible than the traditional broadcast technology known as analog. For example, DTV makes it possible for stations to broadcast multiple channels of free programming simultaneously (called multicasting), instead of broadcasting only one channel at a time. DTV technology can also be used to provide future interactive video and data services that are not possible with analog technology.
What is the DTV transition?
The DTV transition is the switchover from analog (the traditional method of transmitting television signals) to exclusively digital broadcasting of free television programming.
The transition from analog to digital television represents the most significant advancement of television technology since color TV was introduced. The DTV transition will be completed on June 12, 2009, as set by Congress.
Full-power television stations have been preparing for the transition from analog to DTV since the late 1990s, when they began building digital facilities and airing digital channels alongside regular analog broadcasts. Today, 1,624 out of 1,762 full power television stations nationwide offer digital programming.
Why the switch?
DTV is a more flexible and efficient technology than the current analog system. The switch to digital broadcasting will enable television stations to offer crystal clear pictures and sound, more channels and even free, over-the-air high-definition television (HDTV) for consumers with HD television sets. Under legislation passed by Congress - the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 - full-power over-the-air broadcast television stations are required to turn off their analog channels on June 12, 2009, and continue broadcasting exclusively in the digital format.
Who will this affect?
If you currently rely on rabbit ears or a roof top antenna and have an analog television, after June 12, 2009, you will no longer be able to receive television programming.
How do I switch?
Consumers who receive free broadcast television signals through antennas on television sets that are equipped with analog tuners - and who do not subscribe to cable, satellite or a telephone company service provider - will be affected by the transition. Viewers who pay for TV services such as cable, satellite or telephone company television services should not be affected or need to upgrade.
Click on the link below to see what steps (if any) you must take to upgrade to DTV before June 12, 2009.
TV Converter Box Coupon Program:
The National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA), a federal agency, will start "The TV Converter Box Coupon Program" in January 2008.
Each household may apply for two coupons, each worth $40 (coupon-eligible converter boxes are expected to cost between $50 - $70 and will be available at electronics stores and online retailers).
Consumers can apply to the NTIA through http://www.dtv.gov/, toll free (888) 388-2009 or by mail.
Coupons will be available on a first come, first serve basis, and distribution will start in early spring of 2008. This will include retail information where converter boxes are available for purchase within a five mile radius of recipients' homes.
Coupons will expire after 90 days from the date that they were issued.
For more information please contact:
The Federal Communication Commission - (888) CALL-FCC (1-888-2255-322)
The TV Converter Box Coupon Program - (888) 388-2009 or go to http://www.dtv.gov/
For more answers to frequently asked questions, please visit the FCC‘s FAQ-Consumer Corner website at http://www.dtv.gov/consumercorner
What type of antenna do I need:
Visit Antennaweb.org to find information on different types of TV antennas, both indoor and outdoor.
© 2009 DTV Answers