This switch will affect those who currently receive free, local, analog broadcast signals over the air through the use of an antenna (e.g. “rabbit ears,” rooftop antennas). Televisions currently connected to a cable or satellite feed will not be affected by the digital switch. Cable and satellite subscribers are encouraged to check with their service providers if they have any questions regarding the transition. Many newer televisions have a built-in digital tuner. Check the owner’s manual for you television if you are not sure whether your television will require a converter box.
The Federal Government established the TV Converter Box Coupon Program to help defray the costs for those impacted by the transition from analog to digital. All U.S. households are eligible to receive up to two (2) coupons, each worth $40, to apply toward the purchase of eligible converter boxes. Note that the coupons must be used at the time of purchase and will expire 90 days after the date of issue.
The TV Converter Box Coupon Program website features a brief questionnaire to help you determine if you will need to purchase a converter box, as well as links to apply for the $40 coupon online, via telephone, or by downloading and printing out an application to submit via mail or fax. TTY English and Spanish phone numbers are provided on the site as well.
The Federal Government’s Digital Television website features a list of Frequently Asked Questions regarding the analog-to-digital program, the coupon program, and general digital television-related issues.