So it’s coming close to the DTV switch occurring on February 17th 2009 at midnight and I wanted to take a minute and explain exactly what’s going to happen.

As of right now, all full power television stations are providing their service over the air as an analog signal and through cable companies as a digital signal.  The analog signal can be received by any TV using an antenna (rabbit ears) similar to how your radio works in your car, while the digital signal can only be received by a TV with a digital tuner or through cable / satellite service.   The DTV 2009 switch will require all analog signals to be stopped and only digital signals will be provided. This means if you only use an antenna to receive your TV stations, you will lose this service unless you sign up for cable / satellite or get a DTV converter box.

Now the government is providing 2 coupons each worth $40 towards the purchase of certified DTV converter boxes.  These boxes will simply convert a television signal coming into your house into a digital television or DTV signal.

The reason the government is requiring all stations to switch over to an all digital signal is to clear the airwaves for emergency services and provide television viewers a clearer picture on their TVs.  This will ensure that emergency responders have a clear signal to use in case of a disaster.

The DTV switch is causing a lot of confusion and hopefully this will clear that up.  You do not need to buy a new TV or even sign up for cable as long as you get a DTV converter box from your local retail store.  Make sure you check out the government’s web page on DTV 2009 and make sure you get the correct DTV converter box.  You can visit the DTV 2009 site here.

Do you still use an antenna to receive your TV stations? Leave a comment and tell us what you think of the DTV switch.