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Skelton reminds constituents that digital television set for June 12
Skelton reminds constituents that digital television set for June 12

Congressman Ike Skelton
WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 31, 2009) — Today, television stations air programming in analog and digital formats and will continue to do so through June 12. On that date, however, all full-power television stations, such as ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox and PBS affiliates, will stop broadcasting in analog and continue broadcasting in digital format only. The switch from analog to digital broadcasting is referred to as the digital television transition or the DTV transition.

The digital television transition will provide many advantages for consumers: it will free up valuable frequencies for police, fire, and other public safety officials; will allow broadcasting networks to offer improved picture and sound quality, as well as more programming choices; and it will provide more robust wireless service offerings.

To prepare for the digital television transition, some consumers will need to take steps to continue to enjoy television. Cable and satellite subscribers should not be impacted by the transition, but if they have questions they should contact their service provider. Consumers who enjoy free over-the-air television should determine if they own a digital or analog television. Families who own a digital television will be able to continue to watch free programming after the transition. Analog televisions receiving free programming through an antenna, including rooftop antennas or “rabbit ears,” will not work after June 12.

Consumers who rely on analog televisions to enjoy free programming must purchase a digital-to-analog converter box. Fortunately, Congress established a coupon program to offset the cost of acquiring a converter box. Until July 31, all households will be eligible to receive two $40 coupons to be used toward the purchase of two converter boxes, which typically cost between $40 to $70 each. Coupons are valid for 90 days from the time they are mailed and will come with a list of retailers that are selling converter boxes in your area, as well as through the telephone and Internet.

To obtain a $40 coupon or for more information about the coupon program, please visit the Converter Box Coupon Program website at www.dtv2009.gov or call the Program’s toll-free number at (888) 388-2009. People who are deaf or hard or hearing may call their toll-free number at (877) 530-2634.

For more information about the digital television transition, directions on installing a converter box, or for support in your area visit www.dtv2009.gov or contact the Federal Communications Commission by calling toll-free at (888) 225-5322 or toll-free through TTY at (888) 835-5322.

Congressman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) serves as chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. Congressman Skelton’s website is at http://www.house.gov/skelton.

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