On February 17, 2009 all full-power broadcast television stations in the United States will stop broadcasting on analog airwaves and begin broadcasting only in digital. Digital broadcasting will allow stations to offer improved picture and sound quality as well as additional channels. On that day, analog televisions not connected to a converter box, cable, satellite or other provider service will no longer have reception because they will be unable to receive digital signals.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Anyone who does not subscribe to cable, satellite or other provider service will likely need a converter box to receive the new signals.
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) is spearheading the program through which consumers can obtain converter boxes -- devices that will receive the new digital signal and “translate” it for analog televisions. Each household is eligible for two $40 coupons, each of which can be applied toward the cost of one converter box.
Do any of the televisions in your household require rabbit ears or a rooftop antenna to receive signals?
If NO, then it is likely that you are already prepared for the switch.
If YES, and your television does not already receive digital signals, then you will need a converter box.
Every household is entitled to apply for two $40 converter box coupons, each of which may be applied toward the cost of one converter box.
There are four ways to apply for these coupons:
1) ONLINE: Visit https://www.dtv2009.gov and follow the step-by-step instructions for applying online.
2) BY PHONE: Dial one of the numbers below and answer the questions as you are prompted.
TTY: 1-877-530-2634 (English)
3) BY MAIL: Print out the form linked below, fill it out and send it to:
P.O. Box 2000
Portland, OR 97208
Application for converter box coupon: https://www.dtv2009.gov/docs/Coupon_Program_App_en.pdf
4) BY FAX: Print out the form linked above, fill it out and fax it to:
Check on the status of your coupon here (you will need the reference number or your address): https://www.dtv2009.gov/CheckStatus.aspx
Visit the Web page linked below. After entering your address you will be given a list of converter box retailers in your area. Visit one of the suggested retailers to redeem your coupon and purchase a converter box: https://www.dtv2009.gov/VendorSearch.aspxBack to Top