Analog to Digital TV Converter Box Coupon
What is the digital television transition?
Broadcasters are transitioning to digital to provide important benefits to consumers. Because digital broadcasting is more efficient, broadcasters require less of the airwaves to provide a better television viewing experience. Once the DTV transition is completed, some television channels will be turned over to fire and police departments for emergency communication and others are being auctioned to companies to provide new wireless services.
The countdown has begun. Analog broadcasts are coming to an end. Digital transition is the switch from analog tv signals to digital tv signals. At midnight on February 17, 2009, all television stations in the United States will stop broadcasting in analog and switch to 100% digital broadcasting. Digital broadcasting promises to provide a clearer picture and more programming options and will free up airwaves for use by emergency responders. Changing analog to digital could be confusing for many elderly and technically challenged folks out there. In reality, it is so simple. Most people will not have to do anything. You will need to take action before February 17, 2009, if you currently watch TV on an analog TV set that is not connected to cable, satellite or other pay TV service. Analog to Digital TV Converter Box coupon program is the government's way to ease this transition to millions of people who need to buy a converter box.
TV Converter Box
Consumers have a variety of options. If you're not sure what to do, take a quick quiz to help you figure out what to do at www.DTVTransition.org. Options to explore include:
- Keep your existing analog TV and purchase a TV converter box. A converter box plugs into your TV and will keep it working after Feb. 17, 2009, or
- Connect to cable, satellite or other pay service, or
- Purchase a television with a digital tuner.
What is a TV converter box?
An analog to digital TV converter box is a new product that plugs into your analog TV and, along with your antenna, will keep your analog set working after February 17, 2009. A TV converter box is a one-time purchase and usually costs between $40 and $70. A TV connected to cable, satellite or other pay TV service does not require a TV converter box from this program.
How to find if your TV is analog or digital TV?
If you bought your TV set before 1998, it probably doesn't have a digital tuner at all. Almost every TV set made before 1998 was a traditional "analog" set. If you bought a big-screen, projection TV between 1998 and 2004, it may have a built-in digital tuner inside. But chances aren't great. Only a limited percentage of projection TV sets (and generally only those 42 inches in diameter or larger) included digital tuners before 2004.
If you purchased a new TV set since 2004, your chances of having a built-in digital tuner improve dramatically. Starting in 2004, many of the TV sets sold at popular electronics stores feature digital tuners. But it's not a sure thing. Even some of the newer TV sets are purely display monitors that lack the internal circuitry needed to pick up digital broadcasts. Usually these sets have been advertised as "HD-ready" or "HDTV monitor" sets. That means they can display digital and high-definition signals, but they need help getting those signals in the first place. You'll still need a special converter or a cable TV connection.
It boils down to this. If you currently watch TV on an analog TV set that is not connected to cable like Comcast, satellite like Dish or DirecTV, you will need a TV Converter Box.
After reading all this and if you need a TV Converter box, read further.
TV converter boxes usually cost between $40 and $70. Each U.S. household may request up to two $40 coupons to help pay for the cost of converter boxes. After applying the coupon, participating retailers will charge consumers the remaining balance. Apply for the coupon right away at DTV website.
TV Converter box coupons look like plastic credit cards or gift cards used widely in the retail industry. Check out the website to see where the coupons are accepted and buy your analog to digital TV Converter Box. You cannot sell your coupons and the coupon do not any cash value. Your coupons will also come with a list of nearby retailers-as well as online and telephone retailers-that you should keep and use to find a converter box.
Summary: TV Converter Box Coupon
In February 2009, all television stations in the United States will stop broadcasting on analog frequencies and will only broadcast digital signals. The digital broadcasts are capable of carrying high definition video and surround sound audio, but require some people to buy new equipment for their old TVs to work on the new signals. Most stations are already broadcasting in digital, but they are required to shut down their analog broadcasts in February, 2009.
To help people with indoor antennas or rooftop antennas, the US government now offers a $40 coupon for a digital TV converter. You can apply for the coupon online or by calling 888-388-2009.
The coupon is only for someone with old television equipment and:
- receives free TV over the air with an antenna, and wants to continue to get free TV, and
- does not want to buy a new television with built-in ATSC tuner before February 17, 2009, and
- does not want to pay for cable or satellite service.
If you have any of the following, then you will not be affected by the switch next February:
- Cable, Satellite, and Fiber service customers will be unaffected by this switch.
- Anyone with a "digital set top box" already receives a digital signal, and will be unaffected by this switch.
- HDTVs using a built-in ATSC tuner already receives digital signals and will continue to do so after February.
- HDTVs using their built-in QAM tuner, hooked directly into the cable jack on the wall will be unaffected by this switchover, since the signal is already digital.
- Anyone thinking of buying an HDTV and wants to use it with free over-the-air channels using an indoor or outdoor antenna should make sure an "ATSC Tuner" is included in the specs of the HDTV. Check your TV manual for more information.
- Government website on Digital Television Transition
- More Answers to digital switch questions
- NCTA site
Useful information and television spots brought to you by the National Cable & Telecommunications Association.