Is your television at risk of going blank after Feb. 17, 2009? It is if you have an analog TV that receives free “over-the-air” programming with a roof-top antenna or “rabbit ears” and you don’t take steps now to prepare for the new all-digital broadcasting.
The Georgia Department of Human Resources Division of Aging Services is joining the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in notifying consumers about the digital TV (DTV) transition. If you have an analog television, you will need a digital-to-analog converter box to continue watching broadcast television on that set. But if you have a digital television with an internal digital tuner, you should be able to continue viewing programs after February. Currently, some TV stations in America are broadcasting in both analog and digital, but on Feb. 17, 2009, full-power television stations will stop broadcasting on their analog channels and go to all digital.
“We want older adults to be aware of the new transition to digital TV so they won’t be caught by surprise next February when television broadcasting goes to all digital,” said Maria Greene, director of the Division of Aging Services. “We encourage them to visit the FCC Web site at www.dtv.gov or call 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322) to get more information on the digital broadcasting.”
Individuals with analog television sets will receive help with obtaining a digital-to-analog converter box to watch television. A digital-to-analog converter box coupon program has been established by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), which is a part of the Department of Commerce.
Every household in America is eligible to receive up to two coupons worth $40 each, towards the purchase of eligible digital-to-analog converter boxes sold at participating consumer electronics retailers. Manufacturers estimate that the boxes will cost $40 to $70 each, according to the FCC.
For more information on the digital-analog converter box coupon program, visit the NTIA’s Web site at www.dtv2009.gov, or call 1-888-388-2009.
For more information about the DTV transition, visit the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Web site at www.dtv.gov, or call 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322).