Sunday, February 8, 2009

Digital Television Transition Information by Heidi Harrison Chain

The federal government (FEMA) has asked that our Community Emergency Response Team let the community know that the transition date for the digital TV transition has been delayed until June 12, 2009.

The Digital Television Transition is considered a critical public safety issue and the Citizen Corp Council (of which Our Forest Hills-Rego Cert Team – cb6 CERT- is a member) has been asked to assist in ensuring uninterrupted service. Analog TVs will need to be connected to a DTV converter box or a paid TV service. Digital TV will be unaffected and do not need a converter box.

On June 12, 2009 analog TV service will end based on the Act passed by the House of Representatives on Feb. 4, 2009. The DTV Delay Act also extends the TV Converter Box Coupon Program until July 31, 2009 and requires the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to issue upon request, replacement coupons for each coupon that expires without being redeemed.

To ensure uninterrupted service, consumers with analog television sets have three options:

  • Purchase and install a DTV converter box
  • Purchase a TV set with a built-in digital tuner
  • Subscribe to cable, satellite or other paid tv service.

Our CERT team and CERT teams throughout the country are being asked to help make sure that the most vulnerable in emergency situations know about the Digital Transition. The loss of emergency communication via television could jeopardize an someone ‘s ability to respond appropriately in a crisis.

Following the transition, the FCC estimates up to 20 million individuals could be left without television communication.

Please share this information with everyone so that our community is protected.