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Digital Television Transition

What is the Digital Television Transition?  On June 12, 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 and additional channels, and also will free up airwaves for use by emergency responders.

ACA is a member of the Digital Television Transition Coalition, an organization focused on educating consumers about the June 12, 2009 switch from analog to digital television broadcasting.  All ACA operators are working to ensure no consumer is left without broadcast television due to a lack of information about the transition. 

How can I prepare for the DTV transition?  Preparing for the DTV transition is easy and requires one of three steps by June 12, 2009:

  • Purchase a new television set with a built in digital tuner.
  • Purchase a digital-to-analog converter box that plugs into an existing television. The boxes, which are expected to cost between $40 - 70 will be available for purchase in 2008. Beginning on January 1, 2008, U.S. households can request up to two coupons valued at $40 each. Each coupon can go toward the purchase of a single set-top converter box that will allow you to continue watching free "over-the-air" television on an analog set.
  • Subscribe to a cable, satellite or telecommunications service provider if all desired local broadcast stations are carried by that service.

Any of these steps will ensure that "over-the-air" television consumers will continue to receive programming.

How do I know if I'm ready for the Digital Television Transition?  Contact your independent cable operator for more information, or take the DTV Transition online quiz.

How do I get a set-top converter box for my analog television?  Set-top converter boxes are available for purchase at electronics retailers. The cost of the box ranges from $40-70.  Households can request up to two coupons for the converter boxes, which will be valued at $40 each. Coupons will be mailed via the U.S. Postal Service, and consumers will have approximately three months to redeem them. Consumers who wish to retain their analog television sets may also switch to a cable, satellite or telecommunications service provider.

Any Questions?  Please contact your independent cable operators or visit the DTV Coalition Web site for responses to frequently asked questions.

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  • American Cable Association
    Seven Parkway Center
    Suite 755
    Pittsburgh, PA 15220-3704
  • phone:412-922-8300
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