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Digital Television is HERE! The old Analog TV signal will be turned off on February 17, 2009.


After reading the previous statement, the first thing you may think is that you can put this off for a year before you have to worry about it. The truth is, if you want to save some money, you need to become informed before the transition takes place.

Recently I talked to Randy Doty at Sandpoint TV here in Waynedale. He was able to answer some questions as to how the transition from Analog TV to Digital TV will affect the general population.


Will your TV continue to work?

If you have cable or Satellite (dish) TV then the transition may not affect you but, some people have cable or satellite at home, and have over-the-air TV (outside antenna) at their lake house. If you have over-the-air TV at home or at the lake then you may want to continue reading.


First, what is DTV?

Digital Television (DTV) is an advanced broadcasting technology that will transform your television viewing experience. DTV enables broadcasters to offer television with better picture and sound quality. It can also offer multiple programming choices and interactive capabilities.


When will the transition take place?

The Transition to Digital TV is happening now and will serve all markets in the United States. The conversion will be completed by February 17, 2009. The spectrum they use for analog broadcasting will be reclaimed and put to other uses.


What will I need to do to continue watching TV?

Analog TVs will need additional equipment to receive over-the-air television signals.

Consumers who rely on antennas (including outside antennas and “rabbit ears”) to receive over-the-air broadcast signals on TV sets having only analog tuners will need to obtain separate digital-to-analog set-top converter boxes to watch over-the-air TV. These boxes receive digital signals and convert them into analog format for display on analog TV’s


I have heard that the government is passing out ‘$40-off’ coupons to purchase converter boxes. How do I get one?

One simple way to receive your coupon is to stop by Sandpoint TV in Waynedale. They will answer questions, log you into the program, and you should receive your coupon in about 4 weeks. Installation is available for a small fee. Other signup options are the Internet at www.dtv2009.gov or phone 1-888-dtv-2009. The Converter Box Coupon Program will run between March 1, 2008, and March 31, 2009. All U.S. households will be eligible to request up to two coupons, worth $40 each, to be used toward the purchase of up to two, digital-to-analog converter boxes. You may want to come in sooner rather than later as converter boxes may not be readily available as the dead line for conversion grows near.


What will it cost me?

An example, current price on a Zenith converter box is $59.95, before the coupon discount.


An informed choice should make the transition to digital an easy one.

The Waynedale News Staff
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