The transition to digital television is coming up on June 12th. If you are not ready for the switch, now is the time to make your plans to get a converter box. After June 12th, unless you have a converter box, you will not be able to watch broadcast television on your analog television set. Buying and installing a converter box is simple, and the government is providing discount coupons for consumers to lower the cost.
Any analog television set that relies on an antenna, or "rabbit ears," to receive programming will likely need a digital-to-analog converter box to receive and display digital signals. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) estimates that 36 percent of U.S. households have at least one television set that is used to watch signals over the air and that will therefore require a digital to analog converter box.
To ensure that your family’s analog television sets that are not connected to cable or satellite service remain functional after June 12, 2009, please follow the instructions below for claiming coupons and purchasing converter boxes.
Do I Need a Converter Box?
That depends. Do any of the analog televisions in your household use rabbit ears or a rooftop antenna to receive signals, or are all of your television sets hooked up to cable or satellite service?
If all of your television sets are connected to cable or satellite service, then you should not need to do anything to prepare for the transition.
If any of your analog television sets rely upon rabbit ears or a rooftop antenna, then you will need a converter box for those sets.
How Do I Apply for a $40 TV Converter Box Coupon?
Every household may apply for two $40 TV converter box coupons, each of which may be applied toward the cost of one converter box.
There are four ways to apply for these coupons:
1) ONLINE: Visit https://www.dtv2009.gov and follow the step-by-step instructions for applying online.
2) BY PHONE: Dial one of the numbers below and answer the questions as you are prompted.
TTY: 1-877-530-2634 (English)
3) BY MAIL: Print out the form linked below, fill it out and send it to:
TV Converter Box Coupon Program
P.O. Box 2000
Portland, OR 97208
Application for converter box coupon: https://www.dtv2009.gov/docs/Coupon_Program_App_en.pdf
4) BY FAX: Print out the form linked above, fill it out and fax it to:
Do I Need Two TV Converter Box Coupons?
Before requesting your TV converter box coupons from the NTIA consider whether your household will need one coupon or two. If you order one coupon initially, you can request a second coupon later, as long as funds remain available in the TV Converter Box Coupon Program. If you initially request two coupons and both of them expire, you will not be able to request any additional coupons.
What if I Have Ordered My Coupon but Have Not Yet Received It?
Check on the status of your coupon here (you will need the reference number or your address): https://www.dtv2009.gov/CheckStatus.aspx
Where Can I Redeem Coupons?
You have several options for using your TV converter box coupon to purchase a converter box.
1. Go to a local retailer. The packet you received in the mail with your TV converter box coupons includes a list of certified local retailers. You can also enter your address on the Web page linked below to see a list of converter box retailers in your area. Visit one of the suggested retailers to redeem your coupon and purchase a converter box. It is a good idea to call the retailer before visiting the store to ensure that it has converter boxes in stock. https://www.dtv2009.gov/VendorSearch.aspx
2.Order a converter box over the phone. Many retailers are allowing customers to use a TV converter box coupon to purchase a converter box over the phone. The retailer will then ship the converter box once it is available. (Some retailers will charge a shipping fee.) A list of retailers selling converter boxes by phone and their phone numbers can be found here: https://www.dtv2009.gov/VendorSearch.aspx
3. Order a converter box online. A list of retailers selling converter boxes online and their websites can be found here: https://www.dtv2009.gov/VendorSearch.aspx
Are you prepared?
Are you ready for the transition to digital television?
How have you prepared for the transition to digital television?
ACT NOW AND MAKE A DIFFERENCE. TELL A FRIEND.