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How to Convert Your Old TV to Digital
There are already many television stations in the United States that are broadcasting in today. Most that are broadcasting in analog as well will continue to provide analog broadcasts until February 17, 2009. Then, on that date, all full-power TV stations will cease broadcasting on analog channels, and that part of the tv band will be sold to bidders for other services such as communication.
The FCC's digital converter rule specifies that as of March 1, 2007, every new TV must include a digital tuner.
This rule prohibits the manufacture, import, or interstate shipment of TV's containing analog tuners, unless it also contains a digital tuner. Despite this new rule, retailers can continue to sell analog-only TV's from existing inventory so just because your TV is new doesn't mean that it is Digital ready. Many buyers will not be aware that their equipment will not be able to receive over-the-air-television analog TV signals after February 17, 2009.
Do I Need It?
If your analog TV is hooked up to digital cable right now or to a satellite receiver and is working fine now, there is nothing you need to do. Only if you disconnect cable and wish to receive over the air (rabbit ears or rooftop antenna) signals, you will need a converter box.
What it does.
The converters do not convert your old analog TV to high definition, although the HD signal may be available it won't make your old TV a High Definition TV.
What you need to do.
If you have an older TV, you will need to buy a converter box if you want to continue to get over the air signals. Thankfully the FCC is offering rebates for much of the list price of converter boxes, so you may pay as little as a couple dollars for one.
Converter Box Coupon Program
Between Jan. 1, 2008, and March 31, 2009 all US residents will be eligible to receive as many as two coupons, valued up to $40 each, to be used toward purchasing up to two digital-to-analog converter boxes.
More information on how to get your free coupon can be found at www.DTV2009.gov.