(1928 – 2009)


Buy or Die! Digital Television Transition – Deadline for Change: June 12, 2009

After June 12, 2009, full-power television stations will broadcast in digital only, as analog TV is laid to rest in America. It was 81. Canada will kill analog August 31, 2011. In 1996, the U.S. Congress authorized the distribution of an additional broadcast channel to each broadcast TV station so that they could start a digital broadcast channel while simultaneously continuing their analog broadcast channel. Later, Congress mandated that June 12, 2009, would be the last day for full-power television stations to broadcast in analog. The switch from analog to digital broadcast television is referred to as the digital TV (DTV) transition. Broadcast stations in all U.S. markets are currently broadcasting in both analog and digital.

For viewers who have one or more televisions that receive free over-the-air programming (with a roof-top antenna or ‘rabbit ears’ on the TV), the type of TV you own is very important. A digital television (a TV with an internal digital tuner) will allow you to continue to watch free over-the-air programming after June 12, 2009. However, if you have an analog television, you will need a digital-to-analog converter box to continue to watch broadcast television on that set. This converter box will also enable you to see any additional multicast programming that your local stations are offering.

To help consumers spend during the DTV transition, the government established the Digital-to-Analog Converter Box Coupon Program. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), a part of the Department of Commerce, administers this program.

Every U.S. household is eligible to receive up to two coupons, worth $40 each, toward the purchase of eligible digital-to-analog converter boxes, which cost with companies such as Time Warner for example, considerably more. In order to force spending at select companies working with the government, the coupons may only be used for eligible converter boxes sold at participating consumer electronics retailers.The coupons must be used at the time of purchase.

Manufacturers estimate that digital-to-analog converter boxes will sell from $40 to $80 each. This is a one-time cost. For more information on the Digital-to-Analog Converter Box Coupon Program, visit the NTIA’s Web site at, or call 1-888-388-2009 (voice) or 1-877-530-2634 (TTY).

The Hollywood Sentinel, ® © 2009.