Frequently asked questions about DTV

PHILADELPHIA - December 17, 2008 What is the digital television transition?

At midnight on February 17, 2009, all full-power television stations in the United States will stop broadcasting in analog and switch to 100% digital broadcasting. Digital broadcasting provides a clearer picture and more channels and will free up airwaves for use by emergency responders.

Will my television work after February 17, 2009?

Analog television sets receiving free TV using an antenna will not work after February 17, 2009. Television viewers with these sets that are not connected to a pay TV service will need to take action now. Most consumers who purchase a converter box today can connect it to their existing television and begin enjoying the benefits of digital television immediately.

What are my options so I can continue to get TV after February 17, 2009?

Consumers have a variety of options. If you're not sure what to do, take a quick quiz to help you figure out what to do at Options to explore include:

  • Keep your existing analog TV and purchase a TV converter box. A converter box plugs into your TV and will keep it working after Feb. 17, 2009, or
  • Connect to cable, satellite or other pay service, or
  • Purchase a television with a digital tuner.

What is a TV converter box?

A TV converter box is a new product that plugs into your analog TV and, along with your antenna, will keep your analog set working after February 17, 2009. A TV converter box is a one-time purchase and usually costs between $40 and $70. A TV connected to cable, satellite or other pay TV service does not require a TV converter box from this program. For a list of TV converter boxes that can be purchased with $40 government coupons, please visit Your coupons will also come with a list of nearby retailers - as well as online and telephone retailers - that you should keep and use to find a converter box.

What is the TV Converter Box Coupon Program?

Congress created the TV Converter Box Coupon Program for households wishing to keep using their analog TV sets after February 17, 2009. The Program allows U.S. households to obtain up to two coupons, each worth $40 that can be applied toward the cost of eligible converter boxes. How do I get my coupons?

Consumers can apply now for up to two $40 coupons per household by going online at , calling 1-888-DTV-2009 (1-888-388-2009), or by mailing their application to PO Box 2000, Portland, OR 97208-2000. Coupons will be mailed to eligible households and are good for 90 days from the date they are mailed. Since most stations are already transmitting digital broadcasts, consumers with older model televisions using an antenna to receive their free channels can connect the converter box and begin to enjoy the benefits of digital TV now.

When can I apply for my coupons?

You can apply for a coupon now through March 31, 2009, while supplies last

How do I request a coupon?

Through March 31, 2009, or while supplies last, you can request a coupon in one of four ways:

  • Apply online at
  • Call the Coupon Program toll-free 24-hour automated system at 1-888-DTV-2009 (1-888-388- 2009).
  • Mail a coupon application to: PO BOX 2000, Portland, OR 97208-2000
  • Fax a coupon application to 1-877-DTV-4ME2 (1-877-388-4632)
  • Deaf or hard of hearing callers may dial 1-877-530-2634 (English/TTY) or 1-866-495-1161 (Spanish/TTY). TTY Service is available from 9 AM – 9PM Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.

The contact center will be accessible for hearing-impaired persons through a TTY service. The contact center and website can help answer questions you may have about obtaining and redeeming coupons, and checking the status of your coupon request.

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