How Do I Prepare for the Transition to Digital TV?

Beginning on February 17, television stations will change the way they send out TV signals.  They will stop sending analog signals (what we get now) and begin sending digital signals. This does not mean that you have to have a high definition TV, or even replace your current TV, but you do have to be able to receive digital signals.

First, determine if your TV can already receive digital signals:

  • If you have cable or satellite TV, you won’t need to make any changes.
  • If you don’t have cable or satellite TV, and you bought your TV within the last two years, you may or may not be affected. Check this website to see if your TV has a digital receiver already in it.
  • If you don’t have cable or satellite TV, and your TV is older than two years old, you will probably be affected.

If you are affected, here’s what you need to do to convert your TV to digital:

1. Sign up for the waiting list to receive a coupon good for $40 off the purchase of a digital converter box. You can get one or two coupons, but you’ll need one converter box for each TV in your house that needs to be changed:

  • Call 1-888-DTV-2009 (1-888-388-2009); or
  • Deaf or hard of hearing callers dial 1-877-530-2634 (9am-9pm Monday – Friday); or
  • Apply online; or
  • Print out a form and mail it or fax it to 1-877-388-4632.

2. Use the coupon to buy a digital-to-analog converter box. The converter boxes cost $40-$70 and are available at most electronics. You can search for a store here.

3. Attach the converter box to your TV.

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