Barbara Anthony, Undersecretary of the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation
The long-awaited transition to digital television is slated for Friday, June 12, and the deadline means there will be changes for those who still use “rabbit ears” or roof antennas to watch television.
If you have a cable connection to your television, you will continue to have access to broadcasted programming without interruption. But if you get your television over the air through an antenna, you need a converter box to receive the digital signal all televisions will be broadcasting over.
Converter boxes are available for purchase (visit www.dtv.gov for a list of retailers and other valuable digital television information). To apply for coupons to cover a portion of the purchase price of converter boxes, go to www.dtv2009.gov. You can also call, toll-free, (888) DTV-2009. In addition, AARP continues to educate older Americans and their families about the steps they must take for the transition. AARP can be reached at (877) 698-8068.
The changes to digital television will free up parts of the valuable broadcast spectrum for public safety communications, allow some of that spectrum to be auctioned to companies that will provide consumers with more advanced wireless services, and will benefit consumers by offering improved picture and sound quality, and more programming options through several channels of digital programming at one time (or “multicasting”).