Senate adopts resolution developing Digital Awareness Day to help educate residents about the digital television transition
LANSING - The Michigan Senate adopted a resolution Wednesday to designate Feb. 20, 2008 as Digital Awareness Day noting that all television broadcasting will become digital in one year, said Sen. Randy Richardville.
Beginning Feb. 17, 2009, as mandated by Congress, all television broadcasts will be digital. This will provide a clearer picture, more programming options, and free up airwaves for use by emergency responders.
"The Senate is participating in a statewide educational campaign to inform residents about the upcoming transition to digital television," said Richardville, R-Monroe. "Many households rely exclusively on their televisions for local news, emergency information, community programming and other services. It's important that individuals who use older television sets take action so they will continue to receive service after the transition."
More than 600,000 Michigan households, or about 1.5 million people, most of whom are poor, elderly or disadvantaged, will have to act to preserve their over-the-air television signals. Those with cable or satellite television service will not be affected.
Residents with older analog television sets have three options. They can keep their existing analog set and purchase a converter box; connect to cable, satellite or similar services; or purchase a television with a digital tuner.
A television converter box is a one-time purchase and is expected to cost between $50 and $70. Congress created a coupon program for households wishing to continue using their analog sets after Feb. 17, 2009. The program allows households to obtain up to two coupons, each worth $40, that can be applied to the cost of the eligible converter boxes.
"The transition to digital television may negatively impact state residents who only have analog television sets," Richardville said. "We want to make sure that these individuals learn about steps they should take in the coming year. I would also encourage them to apply for the national converter box coupons as soon as possible because there is a limited supply available."
To apply for the coupons, call 1-888-388-2009 or go to www.dtv2009.gov.
Posted: Friday, February 22, 2008
Print friendly version Email this page