TV as we know it is going to change. On February 17th, 2009 just 13 months from now all television will be digital for some of you that means your TV won't work. The Digital Television Transition and Public Safety Act of 2005 is essentially a government mandate.
By law, television stations nationwide must switch from the old method of transmitting t-v signals known as analog to digital television.
"At that time the existing over the air analog will cease," said KLTV 7 Chief Engineer, Butch Adair, "The people that will be affected are the ones that are watching using an antenna. If you watch by cable or satellite it will not be an immediate affect on you, just those using an outside or inside antenna."
So if you don't pay for TV and have an analog tuner you have a few options. Subscribe to a TV service either cable or satellite, buy a new TV with a digital tune, or you can get a converter box for your existing TV.
"The box is a small TV tuner that will receive the digital signal and convert it to an analog signal so your set will still work," said Adair.
And the government is going to help with their cost through $40 coupons.
Workers at Don's TV and Appliances say they've already had a lot of interest in the converter boxes.
"The end of February is when they will first start shipping them to retail locations," said Donnie Thedford, Don's TV & Appliances "We are in the process of being authorized to be a coupon taker from the government."
You don't have to wait to apply for your coupon's. A government web site to help you is already up and running. Along with the Internet, you can apply for the coupons through the mail and over the phone. But you'll have to hurry, because like all new technology, it is first come, first serve.
To request a coupon, consumers can apply online at http://www.dtv2009.gov.
Call 1-888-DTV-2009 (1-888-388-2009).
Mail a coupon application to: PO BOX 2000, Portland, OR 97208-2000