DTV Transition Day is Friday, June 12, 2009!
Washington, Jun 11, 2009 - Throughout the day tomorrow, June 12th, America's full-power television stations will complete their switch to all-digital programming. The reason for this switch is that the broadcast channels converting to digital television (DTV) will free up airwaves for broadband and enhanced emergency communications for police officers, firefighters, and other first responders. Hopefully, it will also provide people who rely on over-the-air signals with additional channels of free broadcast television, and significant improvements in picture quality and sound.
President Obama recently urged Americans to make sure to prepare for the transition (Here is a link to the White House website for the President's statement.).
IF you have older antenna TVs you need to make sure they can receive digital television signals after June 12th. You have three options for ensuring this:
- Subscribe to cable, satellite or other pay television service;
- Purchase a television with a digital tuner (virtually all new TVs have digital tuners); or
- Purchase a TV converter box and connect it to their antenna TV. Converter boxes can be purchased without a coupon.
IF you need technical assistantance, you can get comprehensive information about the DTV transition -- including an interactive troubleshooting guide, searchable databases of local resources and technical assistance (including in-home assistance) -- at the DTV website. The address is http://www.dtv.gov.
You can also call the FCC's DTV Hotline -- 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322). I have been told that there are 4,000 live agents at this phone number, who will be staffing it 24/7 through June 15th (at least).
Here's some more information:
In many cases, existing antennas should work but may need to be adjusted once hooked up to the converter box or new DTV set. Make sure you have an antenna that receives both VHF and UHF signals. In some cases, a new indoor or outdoor antenna may be needed. If there are receiption issues, use the Reception Mapping Tool at http://www.dtv.gov (enter the address to see which stations are expected to provide a signal to that household).
Also, on June 12th and 13th, you may want to perform a channel scan on your converter box and any digital televisions you have. This should be repeated regularly to ensure you are receiving all available digital channels.
Before you purchase a converter box, consider this; there are 10 toll-free phone retailers or 29 online retailers. These retailers and a searchable database of local retailers can be found athttps://www.dtv2009.gov/VendorSearch.aspx. Converter boxes can be purchased with or without a coupon.
Here's some additional information about DTV coupons that I would like to pass on to you:
- DTV COUPONS ARE STILL AVAILABLE -- Coupons, each worth $40, are still available to assist consumers with their purchase of a TV converter box. Please note, however, that coupons ordered today will arrive AFTER June 12th. Eligible households can order coupons until July 31, 2009, while supplies last. To expedite delivery, coupons should be ordered either online (www.dtv2009.gov) or by phone (1-888-DTV-2009; 1-888-388-2009). Coupons are delivered via First Class mail and typically arrive 9 business days after the date the order is received.
- REPLACEMENT COUPONS -- Consumers whose coupons expired without being redeemed can order replacement coupons through July 31st while supplies last. Orders for replacement coupons are taken in the same channels as initial orders (online, by phone, fax or mail).
- HELP YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS, FRIENDS, AND NEIGHBORS -- If you are prepared, reach out to family, friends and neighbors. Coupons can be given away; they cannot be bought or sold.
I hope this transition process goes smoothly and that the final result is beneficial to us all.