Switch to digital television approaches

Thursday, September 18th 2008, 8:20 pm
By: News 9

By Joel Craig, NEWS 9 Contributor

You've heard about the switch to digital TV that's coming on February 17, 2009.

You know its coming and some of you have already purchased digital converter boxes for your analog TVs. So what are the rest of you waiting for? We now have our first feedback that shows you don't want to wait

On September 8 Wilmington, North Carolina became the first market in the country to go all digital. The Federal Communications Commission set it up as a test to see what issues might come up when the entire nation goes digital for over the air TV reception.

The change was reported in the news; there were neighborhood meetings - it was difficult to live in Wilmington and not know about the demise of the 60-year-old standard analog TV signal going away - forever.

But yet on the day of the big switch in this community of 135,000 people, TV stations and the FCC received hundreds of phone calls from people caught off guard. And there were calls from people who did get a converter box but didn't try it until the day of the switchover. They were surprised to find out they weren't getting all their stations and in some cases no TV at all.

If you have cable or satellite for your TV then you don't have to do anything, you will continue to receive TV as before. But if you don't, learn from Wilmington. If you watch TV using an antenna, and you don't have a newer TV with a built-in digital tuner - you need a digital converter box. Get it now.

There are still $40 coupons available from the government to help pay for the converter box, but you have to apply at www.dtv2009.gov or you can call 1-888-DTV-2009.

Once you get your box, you can use it now and get digital service.