February 2nd - 8th, 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
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
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
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 www.dtv2009.gov, or
call 1-888-388-2009 (voice) or 1-877-530-2634 (TTY).
The Hollywood Sentinel, ® © 2009.