DTV Transition and TV Converter Boxes

What is Digital Television (DTV)?

Digital telvision or DTV is an new and innovative type of television broadcasting signal. DTV signals allow television stations to provide better sound quality and better picture quality. Digital telvision signals also allow television stations to provide viewers with significantly more programming options.

What is analog TV?

Analog TV is the older more traditional type of broadcasting signals that have been used since the beginning of television. Analog signals limit the programming options TV stations can provide, take up much more of the airwave spectrum, and deliver a lower quality picture.

Is DTV the same and HDTV?

No, DTV is merely digital television while HDTV is High-Definition digital televison. Having a DTV means that your TV has the capability to be used for HDTV but it is not required.

What is the Digital TV (DTV) Transition?

The digital television transition is the switch from analog and digital television signals to exclusively digital television signals. On February 17th,2009 the switch will occur and the result will be that analog televisions with no longer work for the viewing of television shows unless you have a TV converter box, cable, or satellite. The digital transition is a government mandated transition so it will be occuring for sure.

Can you give me some history on the Digital Transition?

In 1996 the U.S. government issued the right to another broadcast channel to all television stations for the use of digital signals. When they gave broadcasters this right they also mandated that in 2009 all full-power stations must switch over to a 100% digital signal.

Why have a DTV Transition?

The analog to digital transition will be occurring for several different reasons. The main reason for the digital TV transition is to open up spectrum airwaves for public safety communications (police, ambulance, fire). Other portions of the analog spectrum will be auctioned off to the companies so that they can be used for wireless services. The digital television transition also promises to give consumers a few significant benefits. Digital television will allow all television viewers to get a better picture, better sound quality, and more programming options. More programming options will be available through a technology called multicasting. Multicasting will allow television stations to offer sub channels with different shows while still only using the same amount of airwaves. The DTV transition will also allow television stations to provide significantly better closed captioning.

How will the DTV Transition impact me?

If you have an older analog television then the DTV transition will affect you. Without a newer television that is equipped with a digital tuner your TV will no longer work after the transition. You television will continue to work the the viewing of DVDs, VHS, and video games but will not work for the viewing of television. You TV will however continue to work if you subscribe to satellite or cable until 2011. In order to avoid a negative impact due to the DTV transition there are three different things you can do. You can get a digital converter box that will be used along with your old analog TV, subscribe to cable or satellite, or get a new TV that is equipped with a digital tuner.

Will I have to thrown away my analog TV after the transition?

No, if you have a analog digital converter box you can hook it up to your analog TV to continue using it. You will also have the option of cable or satellite to continue using your analog TV.

What can I do to prepare for the digital transition?

Before February 17th,2009 you need to do one of three different things. You can subscribe to cable or satellite, get a new digital TV, or get a DTV converter box. If you are interested in getting a new TV just go to any local electronics stores and make sure you ask if the new TV you want to purchase has a digital tuner. You can call your local cable provide or check with Dish Network if you want to go that route. If you want to keep your older analog television and continue using it then you will need to purchase a digital converter box from a local electronics store. It would also be wise to check out your what type of digital signal you get before the transition because a digital TV antenna might also be needed in order to get all channels.

What is a TV Converter Box?

An analog digital converter box is a small book shaped box that hooks into your TV. TV converter boxes all consumers with analog televisions to continue using them for the viewing of TV. Digital converter boxes pick up digital television signals and and converter them so that they can be viewed on analog TVs. DTV converter boxes are very small (size of your average hardback book) and are very easy to hook up to your TV.

Can I get a digital-to-analog converter box today and begin watching in digital?

Yes, converter boxes can be purchased today and immediately hooked up to your TV for the viewing of digital television. Most stations are already broadcasting in digital and switching now will allow you to take advantage of the benefits of digital television immediately.

Where can I purchase a digital TV converter?

Digital TV converters can be purchase online through many different retailers including Wal-Mart, Best Buy, and Amazon. You can also purchase a digital to analog TV converter from you local electronics retailer. When making your purchase be sure to only buy government certified DTV converters and be sure to only make your purchase from a governmetn certified dtv converter retailer.

How much does a digital converter cost?

Most DTV converter boxes range from $50-$75. This may see to be expensive to some but it is way cheaper than purchasing a brand new TV or being forced to add cable or satellite services. The NTIA is sponsoring a TV converter box coupon program to help reduce the cost of purchasing a digital to analog converter.

What is the NTIA sponsored Digital Converter Box Coupon Program?
The NTIA (National Telecommunications and Information Administration) coupon program is a government sponsored program that allows consumers to get two $40 off coupons toward the purchase of a TV converter. Each household in the U.S. can request up to two coupons while supplies last. All TV converter box coupons must be used at the time purchase at a certified retailer store for the purchase of a government certified analog digital converter.

Where can I find a list of eligible TV converter boxes?

Visit my certified Digital Converter Box page to see a list of all eligible digital converter boxes.

Where can I get a coupon toward the purchase of a DTV converter box?

To get the $40 off dtv coupon please visit the government converter box website. If you go to the government website you can easily request a digital TV converter coupon through one of four different ways. You can either request an analog digital converter box coupon through they website, by mail, by fax, or over the phone. Digital TV converter box requests can be made through the previous methods by contact through the following:

Mail DTV converter requests to PO BOX 2000, Portland, OR 97208-2000.
Fax converter box application requests to 1-877-DTV-4ME2 (1-877-388-4632)
Telephone digital TV converter box requests at 1-888-DTV-2009 (1-888-388-2009)

Where can I find reviews, ratings, and comparisons of different TV converter boxes?

If you visit the web and search google you can find many different TV converter box reviews and ratings. Soon I will also being writing some reviews of my own. Once I get my own digital converter box reviews, ratings, and comparisons up I will provide a link to them from here.

Where can I get answers to other questions I have about digital TV converters and the DTV transition?

If you are looking for any other DTV answers you can call the governments 24-hour converter box hotline at 1-888-DTV-2009 (1-888-388-2009).

TV Converter Box Information Blog

If you are looking for information about the DTV transition and TV converter boxes then you have found the right place. Here you can find all the information you will ever need related to TV converter boxes, the DTV transition, and the governments converter box coupon program. For information about all of this please take a look around my blog. This blog also includes reviews of different tv converter boxes. Use these reviews wisely and make comparisons so that your TV converter Box choice will be an easy one.

Later I will be providing readers with a complete list of NTIA government certified DTV converters and also a list of NTIA government certified TV converter retailers.

If you have any questions about the DTV transition or digital converter boxes that I have not covered here email me and I will do my best find the answers for you.


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My name is KB and I am a college student who is majoring in business finances. I love the outdoors and live in the mountains of Colorado. Someday I would like to own my own business.

I really enjoy blogging for fun and am very interested in the digital transition.

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