One Month Countdown, Digital T.V. Conversion Around the Corner

January 16, 2009
Press Release

Television broadcast feeds to switch from analog to digital on February 17

DuBois, PA – With the digital switch just around the corner, Congressman Glenn “GT” Thompson, R-Howard, today reminded the citizens of the Fifth District who receive an over the air television feed, that they must act now, or they will not receive a television signal beginning February 17, 2009.
“We have just one month until the digital switch”, said Thompson. “For those of you who have ‘rabbit ears’ or utilize an over the air antenna to receive your television feed, you must act now or you will experience service disruption on February 17. Those of you with cable or satellite service, need not to worry, you will not be affected by this transition.”

Thompson is referring to the digital television transition that was mandated by Congress in 2005, in order to free up analog radio waves for emergency personnel and advanced wireless communications. To assist citizens with this transition, the Federal government has designed a Digital-to-Analog Converter Box Coupon Program  that will aid in the purchasing of a converter box. A converter box is needed to convert the new digital signal to analog, so that there is no interruption in service.
Converter boxes can be purchased at Best Buy, Circuit City, K-Mart, Radio Shack, Target, Sears, and Wal-Mart at a cost of $40.00 each. Converter box coupons have a $40.00 value and each household can apply for a maximum of two coupons by calling 1-888-DTV-2009 (1-888-388-2009) or visiting
Other more costly options include purchasing a Digital Television (DTV) or subscribing to a cable or satellite service.
According to the National Association of Broadcasters and the Department of Commerce National Telecommunications and Information Administration, there are 25,310 households in Pennsylvania’s Fifth Congressional District that will be affected by the conversation. As of January 15, 2009, 34,397 coupons were requested of which 13,677 have been redeemed.

“For those households that have yet to make the switch, I encourage you to contact the DTV conversion office at 1-888-388-2009 and request a coupon as soon as possible. Also,  please remember that once a coupon is requested, you have 90 days to purchase a converter box before the coupon expires. While this is a minor inconvenience to some, the long term benefits, such as better police and fire communications, will be well worth the effort,” concluded Thompson.
If you have any additional questions regarding the digital television transition, please contact Congressman Thompson’s Titusville or Bellefonte district office at 814-827-3985 and 814-353-0215, respectively.