Mandatory Digital TV Transition Becomes Official Friday - Page 2 of 2

Mandatory Digital TV Transition Becomes Official Friday


What Is the Digital TV (DTV) Transition?
Currently, many over-the-air stations are broadcasting in both analog and digital TV formats. By June 12, 2009, all full—power TV stations will broadcast only in digital. The DTV transition will affect those who watch free over-the-air television (through a rooftop antenna or “rabbit ears”).

Why Are Broadcast Stations Switching to Digital?
Federal law requires the switch, which will free up the airwaves for police, fire, and emergency rescue communications, allow broadcasters to offer programming with better picture and sound quality and offer more programming choices, and allow for advanced wireless services for consumers.

I have cable TV, am I prepared?
Yes, if you currently have cable, satellite, or some other paid-for television service, you’re all set, and come June 12 you’ll see no change in your television reception or programming.

If you have a new television set purchased within the last one year or so, it should automatically come with a digital tuner. You’re prepared.

However, if you have a television set more than a year old and you’re not on cable or satellite, and you’re relying basically on free over-the-air service, you are not ready. You will lose your television service Friday.

How do I get help making the transition?
Consumers should call 1-888-CALL-FCC or 1-888-DTV-2009. Or visit and enter your zip code or state in the upper right-hand corner of the page to find local events and walk-in centers where they can get assistance. Using your ZIP code, you’ll also find station reception information that will help you help decide whether you need to adjust your antennas, or purchase a new antenna.

Are coupons for set-top converter boxes still available?
It is now too late to order a $40 converter box coupon from NTIA and have it arrive in time before the transition takes place. Once ordered, it takes between eight-10 days to receive the coupon. Coupons can be ordered until July 31. Order a coupon here:

I’ve upgraded TVs and want to get rid of my old one. What should I do?
Don’t put it in the trash. The lead and other toxins it contains are bad for the environment. See if your municipality or a local electronics store recycles electronic waste. To find such a program, visit or


–DTV Transition Guide