What it Means For You
What Is The DTV Delay Act?
Congress recently passed the DTV Delay Act, which extends the deadline for full-power broadcast TV stations to complete the DTV transition from February 17, 2009, to June 12, 2009. The new law allows more time for consumers to be prepared for the DTV transition. However, Congress did not require stations to continue broadcasting in analog after February 17th, and stations may choose to complete their transition, and stop broadcasting in analog, before June 12th.
What Does This Mean For Me?
If you have one or more analog televisions that receive free over-the-air TV programming with an outdoor antenna or “rabbit ears” on the TV, you will need to be prepared. You have three options:
- purchase and connect a “digital-to-analog converter box” to your analog TV;
- purchase a digital television (a TV with a built-in digital tuner); or
- subscribe to a paid service such as cable or satellite TV.
Each U.S. household is eligible to receive two $40 coupons to be used toward the purchase of two digital-to-analog converter boxes.
Even though the DTV transition deadline has been pushed back, your local broadcast stations may complete the transition before June 12th. Broadcast stations are required to notify their viewers before shutting off their analog channels. If you are not yet prepared for the DTV transition, it’s important to prepare. It’s also important to watch your local broadcast channels for on-air announcements or you may contact them directly for more information.
What Should I Do Now?
Digital broadcast television programming is available now, so enjoy the many benefits of DTV by preparing now. Benefits include more channels, better quality picture and sound, on-screen program guides, and more. If you have not yet applied for your converter box coupons, you should do so now. However, you should also prepare at least one TV in your home now by purchasing a converter box, installing it, and ensuring that you can receive the digital channels in your area before the analog channels are shut off. Or, you may wish to subscribe to a paid service such as cable or satellite TV.
Where Do I Go For More Information?
For more information on the Digital-to-Analog Converter Box Coupon Program or to apply for coupons, visit www.dtv2009.gov, or call 1-888-388-2009. For more information about the DTV transition, go to www.dtv.gov or contact the FCC by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org; calling 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322) voice or 1-888-TELL-FCC (1-888-835-5322) TTY; faxing 1-866-418-0232; or writing to:
Federal Communications Commission
Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau
Consumer Inquiries and Complaints Division
445 12th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20554.
Related article: DTV Transition Guide