Saturday, April 26, 2008
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
The United States federal government is going to shut off your television viewing after February 17, 2009 if you have an analog television and receive the signal over the air with an antenna ( rabbit ears or roof style). That's the date that the federal government has mandated that all high power TV stations must turn off their analog signal and broadcast only DTV (Digital Television). And if you have an analog TV (unless your TV was purchased in the last couple years, it is analog) and don't have cable or satellite reception you will need a DTV converter box. The converter box converts the DTV signal to an analog signal so that your old TV can display the picture and sound. The government has set up a coupon program to help defray the cost of the DTV converter box. Your household can receive 2 coupons worth $40 each towards the purchase of 2 DTV converter boxes and all you need to do is go to https://www.dtv2009.gov/ or call 1-888-388-2009. The DTV2009 web site is full of information with answers to all your questions regarding DTV and the coupon program. Another useful web site is DTV. This is an FCC site with lots of information for consumers, an outreach toolkit, publications on DTV, and the rules and regulations regarding DTV.
The FCC and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) are both very concerned that many people in the United States will not be ready for the transition to DTV on Feb. 17, 2009. People are going to be very angry when their TV does not work on February 18, 2009. But that's what will happen unless a DTV converter is installed to receive over the air signals. Anybody with cable or satellite service do not need to do anything, they are all set. The FCC held a workshop on April 1, 2008 where their concerns on the public readiness was raised, you can view the workshop at DTV Television Consumer Education Workshop Focusing on Low Income Consumers and click on the April 1, 2008 item. The workshop is excellent with many ideas for out-reach solutions. Check it out. Please add a comment or send an e-mail with your concerns and questions.