Friday, June 27, 2008

Consumer Affairs Alert About Digital TV

Although most of us, locally, subscribe to either cable TV or one of the satellite services, there are still many thru out the country, who still get their TV programs over the air. In February of 2009, there will be a major change, as most of the stations will be switching from the current system of analog signals to digital signals. If your TV is hooked up to one of the subscription service boxes, satellite or cable, you probably won't notice the difference. This is also true if you have one of the newer TV sets that can receive digital signals.

But, if you are watching TV over the air with one of the older analog only sets, you might be in for a surprise!

Here in Massachusetts,the local broadcasting stations have been showing an alert message. Our state Consumer Affairs has also prepared some information. Here is the text from their latest bulletin:

" Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs & Business Regulation
Analog TV Owners Beware!
The federal government has mandated that on February 17, 2009,
U.S. broadcasters must shut down analog TV broadcasts. But the transition to digital television does not mean you have to buy a new TV! To protect you from misinformation or potential fraud, the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation and the Department of Telecommunications and Cable want you to be aware that some retailers may try to persuade you to buy a new, expensive TV or premium converter box.
If you have an analog TV, you have the following options:
• Buy a digital converter box (costs range from $40-$70+) • Subscribe to cable or satellite TV service (if available) Digital converter boxes are the least expensive option and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has certified more than 80 boxes that can be purchased with DTV Converter box coupons. To see a complete list of DTV Converter Boxes go to
Each household is eligible for two coupons in the amount of $40 each. You can apply for your coupons at ApplyCoupon.aspx or call the coupon program hotline at 1-888DTV-2009 (1-888-388-2009). Be aware that the coupons expire 90 days after issue so be sure to use yours within three months of the date of issuance, not delivery, to you.
For more information, call the Massachusetts Department of Telecommunications and Cable at 1-800-392-6066 or go to "

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