If you currently receive free over-the-air television programming on an analog television set, you will need a DTV converter box to continue to receive television service after June 12, 2009.
DTV converter boxes will be available in early 2008. To help consumers cover the cost of the converter box, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) is issuing up to two converter box coupons valued at $40 each to households. Information about the DTV converter box coupon program is available at www.ntia.doc.gov.
You can prepare for the transition to digital television by following one of three simple steps.
Purchase a DTV converter box that will convert
the digital signal into analog for an existing television set.
The DTV converter box, sometimes referred to as a set-top box, is an electronic device that makes the new digital signal viewable on an older “analog” television set. DTV converter boxes will be available for purchase in early 2008, and are expected to cost between $40 and $70. To help consumers cover the cost of the converter box, the federal government is offering up to two converter box coupons valued at $40 each to households. The coupons may be used toward the purchase of a single converter box and the coupon program will be administered by the U.S. Department of Commerce through the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) www.ntia.doc.gov
. You will still need an over-the-air antenna in addition to the converter box to receive a digital signal on your analog television set; your current antenna may be adequate, depending on your reception conditions. Click here to find out how to get your own converter box.
Purchase a new television set with a built-in digital tuner.
Another option you may choose is to upgrade to a new television set with a built-in digital tuner. As with older sets, you will need an over-the-air antenna that provides quality reception of over-the-air analog television signals to pick up free digital broadcast programming from local stations. Before deciding to purchase a new digital TV, you should make sure your current TV doesn’t already have a built-in digital tuner. Most sets sold in the last few years that are larger than 27 inches will likely have a digital tuner.
Subscribe to cable, satellite or a telephone company
television service provider.
All of these services will allow you to receive digital television signals on your analog television set. No additional equipment is required if you decide to go this route. However, be sure to check that the pay service you choose carries all of the program services provided by the local broadcast stations.