Digital TV Conversion Set for Feb. 17

Communications Director

Eric Vreeland
evreeland@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-3480

400 Main St., Room 654A
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Digital TV Conversion Set for Feb. 17

Posted: 01/19/2009
The Digital Conversion, planned to happen February 17, is just little more than a month away. Though the government is passing out coupons to help cover the cost of the converter boxes needed for older TVs, high demands are developing waiting lists. If you have not already gotten on a list to receive a coupon, and will need a converter box, do so now.

If you own, or have recently purchased, a newer television set, it will probably have a digital tuner and your programming will be unaffected. If you are receiving cable or satellite television, you won't need to do anything to continue receiving those signals (though there are issues with multiple televisions in the home and only one cable box or satellite transmitter). If you use an antenna to watch TV, you will need to make changes to your television set up.

Find more information on whether or not the digital conversion will affect you and your television viewing schedules at DTV.gov. WBIR-TV is also planning a test, scheduled for January 30 at 6:58 p.m., to demonstrate to viewers whether their equipment setup is prepared for the switch to digital TV.

Locally, the Knoxville-Knox County CAC Office on Aging has received a grant from the FCC to assist people with the conversion. East Tennessee residents who have questions about the transition or need help installing a converter box may call 865-546-6262 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:45 p.m., Monday through Friday.

As of now, the digital conversion is still scheduled to take place on February 17, but President-elect Barack Obama's transition team has asked Congress to consider delaying the switch citing fears about consumer readiness for the transition. As congressional leaders were already considering pushing back the digital conversion date by three or four months, the issue is still under discussion.

The government is giving away $40.00 coupons to help curb the cost of the converter box needed to help make sure you keep receiving your television signals. Demand for these coupons is much higher than originally anticipated as government officials thought families would replace old TVs rather than get a converter box. These tough economic times have caused a lot of people to opt for the less expensive converter box instead. Despite the demand and discussion of delay, viewers are encouraged to try to get their converter box at full price and/or get on a waiting list to receive a coupon from the government to help curb the cost.

For more information, please visit DTV.gov or 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322).