A page at the FCC starts with this phrase: “DTV” IS COMING
(AND SOONER THAN YOU THINK!). Where you aware of the coming changes to television programming?
On February 17, 2009, federal law requires that all full-power television broadcast stations stop broadcasting in analog format and broadcast only in digital format.
Seems like a lot of folks are unaware and the switch will be flipped in about a year. If you have a DTV or already subscribe to digital cable or satellite you’re (probably) ok, but what about the average household using “rabbit-ear” or roof top antennas to get local, free programming, or folks in remote areas that use translater stations?
How Do I Receive Digital Broadcasts If I Don’t Subscribe To Cable Or Satellite?
If you receive only free over-the-air television programming, the type of TV you own, either a digital TV or an analog TV, is very important. Consumers who receive only free over-the-air television may view digital programming through a TV set with a built-in digital tuner (integrated DTV) or a digital-ready monitor with a separate digital tuner set-top box. (Both of these digital television types are referred to as a DTV). The only additional equipment required to view over-the-air digital programming with a DTV is a regular antenna, either on your roof or a smaller version on your TV such as “rabbit ears.”
If you have an analog television, you will have to purchase a digital-to-analog set-top converter box to attach to your TV set to be able to view over-the-air digital programming
And according to this link, TV Translator stations will not be affected by the impending deadline:
You may have noticed that Congress mandated that “full-power” TV stations will not be able to broadcast in analog after February 17, 2009. While the majority of the viewed TV broadcast stations are full-power stations, three other categories of TV stations exist – “low-power” stations, “Class A” stations, and “TV translator” stations. There is currently no deadline for these stations to convert to digital broadcasting.
If you do have an analog set you’ll need a converter box and you can get up to 2 $40 coupons to go towards the purchase of new equipment:
What About My Analog TV? Will It Still Work?
After February 17, 2009, you will be able to receive and view over-the-air digital programming with an analog TV only by purchasing a digital-to-analog set-top converter box. Between January 1, 2008, and March 31, 2009, all U.S. households will be able to request up to two coupons, worth $40 each, to be used toward the future purchase of eligible digital-to-analog converter boxes. Eligible converter boxes are for the conversion of over-the-air digital television signals, and therefore are not intended for analog TVs connected to a paid provider such as cable or satellite TV service.
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) is administering the coupon program. For more information, visit the NTIA website at www.dtv2009.gov. The Commission’s DTV website, www.dtv.gov, also provides information for consumers on the upcoming digital-to-analog converter box coupon program. More detailed information regarding NTIA’s coupon program, what digital-to-analog converter boxes will be eligible, where and when they may be purchased, and the related costs involved will be provided by the Commission and NTIA as the commencement of the coupon program on January 1, 2008, approaches.
If you are at all concerned by the switch to DTV – do your homework to determine exactly how you’ll be affected and what, if any, steps you’ll need to take to continue getting television programming. Here are some great links to get you started: