How to Prepare for the Digital Television Transition

June 10, 2009
June 10, 2009


On Friday, June 12thour nation's broadcasters will terminate their analog televisionsignals as part of the digital television (DTV) transition. The DTVtransition will provide viewers a better television experienceincluding a clearer picture and better sound quality. In broader waysit will benefit the public because digital television signals are moreefficient than analog signals. The DTV transition will free up majorportions of the airwaves for public safety communications such aspolice, fire, and emergency rescue, as well as new wireless broadbandservices.

After June 12th ifyou have an analog television set you may need to purchase additionalequipment to continue to receive a broadcast signal.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do I need to do to get ready?

If you currentlywatch television through a rooftop antenna or "rabbit ears," you willhave to take the following action now to ensure you have continuouscoverage:


  • Connect your analog TV to a digital-to-analog converter box
    Your local broadcasters may make the transition before the June 12thdeadline and some already have. Digital-to-analog converter boxes arein stores and have a one-time cost of $40 to $70. To help you pay forthe converter boxes, the U.S. Government is offering two $40 couponsper household. Because it typically takes nine business days to processand mail coupons, consumers who apply now may not receive their couponsin time for the June 12th deadline.
  • Buy a Digital Television (a TV with a built-in digital tuner)
    You do not need a High Definition TV (HDTV) to watch digital broadcast television.You only need a digital TV (or an analog TV connected to adigital-to-analog converter box). Depending on the signal strength ofthe DTV channels some consumers may need to move their existing antennaor purchase a new antenna to improve reception. You can learn more at
  • Subscribe to a Paid TV Service (such as cable or satellite TV)
    If your TV set receives local broadcast stations through a paidprovider such as cable or satellite TV, it is already prepared for theDTV transition. Cable companies are not required to transition orswitch any of their channels to digital. However, if you have an analogTV that does not receive local broadcast stations through your paidprovider, you will need a digital-to-analog converter box to watchdigital broadcasts on that TV.

If you have aconverter box, a digital television, or subscribe to a paid TV servicesuch as cable or satellite TV, you're ready for the transition.

For More Information:

As always, I rely on the thoughts and ideas of my constituents on the issues you care about, so I more than welcome hearing from you.


Anna G. Eshoo
Member of Congress