Television broadcasting as we had know it ended at your favorite local station on Friday, June 12.
Analog broadcast television, which started more than 50 years ago, was to end at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, June 12. Different stations were to turn off their analog at different times during the day. Your analog television is being replaced by state-of-the art technology called digital television (DTV), which provides improved picture and sound quality and more programming choices.
Cable and satellite TV subscribers don’t need to do anything to receive digital television service. If you receive your television signal through a rooftop antenna or “rabbit ears" and have a digital television set, you don't have to do anything either. You are all set.
But if you receive your television signal through a rooftop antenna or “rabbit ears,” and you have an older analog set, you will need to have a digital-to-analog converter box for your TV. Converter box coupons can still be ordered through the government sponsored program. Each household receives two coupons worth $40. But you need to order them as soon as possible. Go to www.dtv2009.gov to order your coupons. The offer of two free coupons ends July 31, so you must order right away in order to get the coupons processed. If you do not have Internet access, you can call 1-888-dtv-2009 to order your coupons.
The converter box connects to your television and will allow you to receive digital signals for viewing on your analog set. Converter boxes are available at local electronics retailers and other retailers that sell television sets and range in price between $40 and $70.
The move to all digital television broadcasting frees up valuable airwaves for advanced public safety communications used by police, fire departments and rescue squads, among others. Some of the spectrum will also be used to provide consumers with more sophisticated wireless services (such as wireless broadband.)
After June 12, if you are having problems with receiving TV reception even though you have a converter box or a digital TV, call the FCC Hotline 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322). This number will be operating 24/7.