DTV transition delay

June 12th is the new date
February 17, 2009 3:49:02 PM PST
If you were planning on saying goodbye to analog television Tuesday you'll have to reschedule. The switch to digital television has been put on pause with a new launch date of June 12th.

So exactly what does the delay mean for you? It isn't just the date that's different there are also some changes to the coupon program. The government will now be able to distribute $12-million more.

"No one's really going to be left out in the dark today," said Grant Clauser of eGear magazine.

But the new DTV transition date is only four months away so if you aren't already good to go take action immediately.

To continue to get programming you need to have a newer, digital TV or subscribe to cable or Dish TV or get a converter box.

If you need a converter box and haven't bought one yet there's some good news about the government coupon program that basically ran out of money recently. Thanks to the passage of the Obama administration's stimulus package, the coupon program now has an extra $650-million.

"The stimulus package does include some extra money to relieve the backlog. Right now there's a backlog of about 4-million-people who are waiting for the coupons," Clauser explained.

Folks on the waiting list for the $40 coupons should automatically get theirs in the mail in about two weeks. Also you can re-apply for one replacement coupon if the one you already got expired. And you now have until July 31st to apply for coupons. That's a four-month extension from the original application deadline.

If you experience problems after hooking up your converter box, don't worry, the fix is probably simple.

"Look for a bigger antenna. That's a problem a lot of people are facing right now their old rabbit ears aren't pulling in the digital signals as well as they expected to so move to a bigger antenna and raise your antenna higher. An outdoor antenna is always the best choice," Clauser said.

A handful of stations in our area are voluntarily turning off their analog broadcasts Tuesday. Those include stations in the Wilkes-Barre-Scranton market as well as WMGM-TV, in Wildwood, New Jersey.

Wilkes-Barre-Scranton stations
WNEP (ABC)
WYOU (CBS)
WZMY (MyN)
WVIA (PBS)
WBRE (NBC)

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