[r85] Rep. Pond on Analog-to-Digital Converter Boxes (1/22/2008)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Start Date: 1/22/2008 All Day
End Date: 1/22/2008

For those accustomed to watching TV with an analog signal, you may want to familiarize yourself with the newly devised digital-to-analog converter box.  On Feb. 17, 2009, TV stations will no longer broadcast analog signals and analog TV will not be available for those television sets that are not connected to a converter box, cable or satellite.

Digital television (DTV) is the successor technology to analog TV. DTV is a flexible and efficient technology that boasts sharp images and high-quality broadcasts. The new technology frees up radio frequencies for emergency respondents, which is one of the major reasons Congress mandated the change. The airwaves have become a crowded place, and freeing bands of the broadcast spectrum will allow new wireless services to utilize the airwaves once TV moves to the digital format.

There are a number of options available to those looking to prepare for the coming analog-to-digital transition. Individuals may purchase a new television set with a built-in digital tuner, or buy a digital-to-analog converter box that plugs into an existing television. Other options include subscribing to cable or satellite services.

Your current analog TV set will not stop working after this change takes place, but in order for it to function properly in conjunction with DTV, you will need to purchase the digital-to-analog converter box. This product ranges in price from $50 to $70. These boxes will be available for purchase shortly and are expected to decrease in price over time.

The Department of Commerce's National Telecommunication and Information Administrator has allowed each household to have up to two $40 coupons to be used for two set-top converter boxes.  To request digital-to-analog TV converter box coupons, call 1-888-388-2009 or, online, go to www.DTV2009.gov.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact my office at 1-800-382-9841, e-mail me at h85@iga.in.gov, or write to me at 200 W. Washington St. Indianapolis, IN 46204.