DTV - What is the Digital Transition?
The Digital Transition refers to the transition from analogtelevision signals to digital television signals as set forth by TheDigital Transition and Public Safety Act of 2005. This act required allU.S. television stations to discontinue broadcasting in analog andswitch to digital broadcasting beginning on midnight, February 17,2009. However, the DTV Delay Act changed themandatory analog cutoff date to June 12, although stations arepermitted to cease analog transmissions before the new mandatory cutoffdate. This change will effect all broadcasts, whether you have cabletelevision or even regular television programming.
How will the Digital Transition Effect me?
Beginning on June 12, 2009, in order for your television (TV sets)to receive programming, you will need to have up to date technologythat can accept digital broadcasting. Many cable boxes and newertelevision sets already have this technology. Please see our answers toDTV FAQ or read more about your options below.
What are my DTV Options?
Many of the televisions sold in stores today are already digitallycompliant, but not all of them. If you own a digital transitioncompliant television (DTV) there is nothing further that you will needto do to prepare for the digital transition. If your television is nota DTV, you will need one of the following in order to view televisionprogramming: a converter box, a subscription to digital cable serviceor a new DTV compliant television which has the conversion boxtechnology built in it.
Government TV Converter Box Coupon Program
Beginning January 2, 2008 DTV Converter boxes will be available tothe public for purchase. The estimated cost of such a box is between$50 and $70, however the U.S. government will provide coupons worth $40(limit 2) to each household in need of a converter box. Note: Converters with enhanced features such as DVR capabilities are not eligible for the coupon program.
You can access and submit the coupon request via an online DTV coupon form or if you would like, you can also order the DTV converter coupon by phone or U.S. mail.
Digital Cable Television
If you have cable television, the odds are that in this day and age you have digital cable televisionand your hardware is already compliant. If this is the case, your homecan receive a digital signal but you may want to be sure that you haveenough digital cable boxes or digital converter boxes for all of thetelevisions in your home or business that you wish to use by February17.
If you do not yet have cable television, or satellite television,now may be an ideal time to consider ordering digital programmingthrough your local cable or satellite provider.
Cable companies can provide you with a digital cable box thatdigitally compliant, usually on a monthly rental basis. Subscribing todigital cable will also allow you to utilize On Demand Programming,digital music stations and to digitally record programming onto yourcable box without the need of a VCR or VHS tape.
DTV Compliant Televisions
The Digital Transition and Public Safety Act was passed in Octoberof 2005, so if you bought your television before this date or withinseveral months of this date, it may be highly doubtful that yourtelevision is digitally compliant.
If you are unsure if your television has a digital tuner, werecommend that you call your television manufacturer to confirm if yourmodel number is a DTV and compatible with the digital transition.
If you can not get cable service in your particular area and you arenot interested in purchasing a converter box, you have the option topurchase a television that has a digital tuner. Check with a salesassociate at a participating retailer to ensure that any TVs you may beconsider to purchasing has the necessary technology built in to receivea digital signal.