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Are You Ready for the Digital TV Transition?

Beginning 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 three
options: 1) purchase and connect a “digital-to-analog converter box” to your analog TV; 2)
purchase 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 converter boxes.

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
stations 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 more


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, or call 1-888-388-2009. For more information about
the DTV transition, go to or contact the FCC by e-mailing;
calling 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322) voice or 1-888-TELL-FCC (1-888-835-5322)
TTY; faxing 1-866-418-0232; or writing to:


Federal Communications Commission
Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau
Consumer Inquiries and Complaints Division
445 12th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20554.