Important Information about the DTV Changeover
Click here for your converter box coupon - a $40 value
What is the digital TV (DTV) transition?
The switch from analog to digital broadcast television is referred to as the digital TV (DTV) transition. In 1996, the U.S. Congress authorized the distribution of an additional broadcast channel to each broadcast TV station so that they could start a digital broadcast channel while simultaneously continuing their analog broadcast channel. Later, Congress mandated that February 17, 2009 would be the last day for full-power television stations to broadcast in analog. Broadcast stations in all U.S. markets are currently broadcasting in both analog and digital. After February 17, 2009, full-power television stations will broadcast in digital only.
What is an Analog TV?
Analog TV: Analog technology has been in use for the past 50 years to transmit conventional TV signals to consumers. Most current television transmissions are received through analog television sets. Analog signals vary continuously, creating fluctuations in color and brightness.
What is Digital TV?
Digital Television (DTV): Digital TV is a new type of broadcasting technology that will transform television. Because DTV is delivered digitally, the television signal is virtually free of interference. And because DTV is more efficient than analog, broadcasters are able to offer television with improved quality pictures and surround sound. DTV will soon replace today’s analog television.
How do I know if I own a DTV?
What you need to know is whether your TV set has something called a "digital tuner" already built in. If it does, your TV set is already configured to receive and display the new digital over-the-air TV signals that will be transmitted in February 2009. To check whether your TV set can receive over-the-air digital broadcast signals, take a look at your owner’s manual or look on the set for an indication that it has "digital input" or "ATSC" (for Advanced Television Systems Committee, which is developing the DTV format). You can also go to the manufacturer’s website and check the capabilities of the set by the manufacturer model number. If your television set is labeled as “analog” or “NTSC,” and is NOT labeled as containing a digital tuner, it contains an analog tuner only. You will need a converter.
How do I know whether I need a converter?
If you use “rabbit ears” or a rooftop antenna for TV reception, you probably need a converter. Television sets connected to cable, satellite or other pay TV service do not require converters. Televisions with digital tuners also do not need converters. Take a short quiz at the DTV Transition Web site to see whether the converter box is the right option for your household to make the digital transition.
DTV Transition Website
For more answers to frequently asked questions, please visit the FCC‘s FAQ-Consumer Corner website CLICK HERE.
Click HERE for a larger .PDF version of the below information.
Click HERE for a more condensed version of the information.
Click HERE to visit the government information website, DTVAnswers.com.
Click HERE for the information in Spanish.