Will Your TV Work After February 17, 2009?
You’ve probably heard some talk about next year’s digital TV conversion. Please be aware that there is a lot of misinformation out there! Here are some fast facts:
You do not need to buy a new TV or cable TV. If you have a new TV with a digital tuner, you do not need to do anything differently. If your TV has an analog tuner and you subscribe to cable, satellite or another pay TV service, you do not have to do anything differently. (If you’re not sure, consult your owner’s manual or check your TV registration number and contact the manufacturer.)
But some people will need to take action. If you use “rabbit ears” or a rooftop antenna with your analog television, you must take some action to continue receiving television broadcasts. After February 17, 2009, all full-power television stations will switch from the analog method of transmitting TV signals to only broadcasting a digital signal that cannot be received by analog TV sets.
Know your options: If you use “rabbit ears” or an antenna to receive your television signal now, you have three options for the future:
- Buy a converter box that will plug into your analog TV.
- Buy a TV with a digital tuner.
- Connect your analog TV to cable, satellite or other pay service.
Discount coupons available: The federal government is offering US households up to two $40 discount coupons to help with the cost of certified TV digital-to-analog converter boxes. This one-time purchase will allow you to use your analog TV after February 17, 2009. Certified TV converter boxes should cost between $40 and $70.
To request discount coupons:
- Call 1-888-DTV-2009 (tel. 1-888-388-2009; TTY 1-877-530-2634; fax 1-877-DTV-4ME2).
- Go to www.dtv2009.gov on the Web.
- Request up to two coupons by mail: DTV Coupons, PO Box 2000, Portland, OR 97208.
You can receive your coupon(s) by mail. They must be used within 90 days, and cannot be renewed. You will begin receiving digital transmissions as soon as your install the converter box.
For more information, go to www.dtv2009.gov or www.seattle.gov/digitaltv on the Web, call Seattle’s Office of Cable Communications at 206-386-1989 or the 24-hour cable message line at 206-684-8498.
Seniors and Adults with Disabilities may Qualify for Cable TV Discount
In the Seattle area, Comcast and Broadstripe (formerly known as Millennium Digital Media) provide discounts of approximately $4 off the monthly rate for TV service for low-income seniors, low-income customers with disabilities, and people living in subsidized housing.
Income eligibility is the same as for Utility Discount Rate for Seattle City Light and Seattle Public Utilities customers. To find out if you qualify, contact the Utility Assistance Program in the Mayor’s Office for Senior Citizens (206-684-0268 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
For specific information about cable TV service, contact Comcast at 1-888-262-6300 or Broadstripe Digital Media at 1-800-829-2225.