Congress passed a new law in 2005 to convert analog transmission signals to digital transmission signals by Feb.17, 2009. So you might have to purchase a new digital television or your existing analog TV set wont work, or do you? I will explain later how to go around this new soon to be effective law.
The reason congress passed this law is to open up the broadcast signals traveling over the electromagnetic spectrum, which carries all sorts of transmissions, including AM and FM radio, shortwave radio, radar and television. From what I’ve heard, it is made to make room and open up for better emergency transmissions.
There is the good and the bad in this digital conversion. The bad reason is depending on your situation, you might have to pull money out of your pocket to purchase a new TV set and if your digital signal is not strong, you might not hear any audio. The good reason is it displays a clearer, crisper picture, which also has the ability to be high-definition with surround-sound encoded.
How do you know if you are vulnerable to the new law Congress passed? If you have cable or satellite in your household for every TV, you are safe because each box has a built-in digital tuner, also called an ATSC tuner. This law only affects households who don’t have cable or satellite.
If you don’t have cable or satellite and are receiving TV broadcasts over-the-air using an antenna, you have two options to make sure your analog television works:
One is to purchase a digital television and make sure it has the ATSC tuner built-in.
Second option is to keep your analog TV set, but purchase a set-top box or a converter box for about $49.99 in local electronic stores. There is a coupon you can apply for to receive $40 dollars off toward the cost of an eligible converter box. The only thing is it takes approximately 2 months to receive your coupon in the mail, so if the date is coming soon and you need it, apply or call to get your coupon. If you would like to get more information or apply for a converter box, you can call 1-888-DTV-2009