U.S. Congressman Steve Chabot 1st District of Ohio

Preparing for the Digital Television (DTV) Transition

Beginning on February 17, 2009, television stations will transmit only digital signals over the airwaves, which TVs with antenna will not be able to pickup. To continue to receive over-the-air television signals through an antenna (not through cable or satellite) after this date, users will need a digital television set or a small digital converter box. To ease the transition to digital television, every household is eligible to receive two $40 coupons that can be used toward the purchase of a converter box.

Why the Switch?

Digital television presents a sharper picture, better sound quality and gives viewers more program choices. Converting television signals to digital transmissions will also allow portions of the airwaves to be used for public safety communications such as police, fire and rescue services.

How Does This Affect You?

  • If you have an analog television set that receives signals by means of an over-the-air antenna (not through a cable or satellite receiver), you will need a small digital-to-analog converter box in order to continue receiving over-the-air broadcasts. The federal government has created a voucher program to help pay for these converter boxes.
  • If you have a television set that is connected to cable or satellite service, those providers will make sure that your television set receives a viewable image after the transition.
  • If you have a digital television set or a television set with a digital tuner, your television will not require any extra equipment. All television sets made after March 2007 are required to have a digital tuner built in.

How To Obtain DTV Coupons

All U.S. households may request two $40 coupons to be used toward the purchase of a digital-to-analog converter box, which are expected to cost between $50 and $60. The boxes are currently arriving in stores where TV sets are sold.

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), a federal government agency, is in charge of the Digital-to-Analog Converter Box Coupon Program. Upon request, the NTIA will mail coupons to eligible U.S. households over the course of 2008 as the converter boxes become available in retail stores. The coupons expire 90 days after they are issued.

For additional information about the DTV Transition, you can visit the Federal Communications Commission's website http://www.dtv.gov/ or call 1-888-225-5322.

For more information about the coupon program and how to apply for vouchers, go to the NTIA website at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/dtvcoupon/consumer.html or call 1-888-DTV-2009.

If you have additional questions, or need assistance making the transition, please feel free to contact Congressman Chabot's Cincinnati Office at 513-684-2723.

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