Digital TV Switch
Beginning in June 12, 2009, local television signals will change from analog to digital. When that happens, TV sets that are more than 4 years old without cable or satellite reception will require a new antenna.
Are You Ready?
TV is changing and it may require action on your part or you won't get any signal at all.
Frequently Asked Questions
To continue to receive television signals beyond the June 12, 2009 transition date, consumers who do not subscribe to cable or satellite television, but who receive free, broadcast-only TV reception have three options:
- Purchase a new television set with a built-in digital tuner. If you choose this option, remember to call Boston Public Works at call 617-635-7574 for home pickup (disposal) of your old TV or monitor.
- Purchase a set-top converter box that will convert the digital signal into analog for an existing television set. If you choose this option, you can still apply to the federal government for up to two $40 coupons that can be used toward the purchase of these boxes. For more information about the coupon program or to apply, visit www.DTV2009.gov or call 1 (888) DTV-2009. Or,
- Subscribe to cable or satellite television service provider, in which case analog sets will continue to function. Remember, Boston Seniors can purchase Comcast Basic Service for only $5.00/month, a hard fought concession from the cable company. Contact the Mayor's Cable Office for assistance, tel. 617-635-3112.
To help with that inconvenience, Congress directed that a coupon program be set up. A number of Boston households will benefit from this coupon program. In a market like Boston with so many good quality broadcast and network affiliated channels - WGBH-2, WBZ-4, WCVB-5, WHDH-7,WENH-11, WFXT-25, WSBK-38, WLVI-56 - there will be high demand for these converter antennas. Only about 55 - 60% of Boston households subscribe to cable and only about 5% use satellite. That leaves more than a 1/3 of our households will need to buy a converter box. And don't forget, even cable subscribers who don't bother to hook up older, extra TVs, will benefit.
To request a coupon, consumers can apply online at dtv2009.gov or call the federal NTIA 24-hour hot line at 1-888-388-2009.
If you already received a coupon, but it has expired you may reapply.