What Consumers Need to Know about the Digital TV Transition

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WhiteFence.com helps educate families and people across the country on what to expect with the June 2009 DTV transition.

June 12, 2009 marks the deadline for all TV customers switching from analog to digital television service. A recent delay passed in Washington gives consumers ample time to gather information prior to the June transition, but it's still important to start preparing now as many broadcasters can still gain clearance from the FCC to begin switching over early.

WhiteFence.com, the leading comparison shopping site for home services like television, high-speed Internet, home phone and more, has prepared essential information to help clear some of the confusion surrounding the digital TV transition.

Here are important pieces of information that consumers need to know leading up to the June 12 DTV transition:

1.    All full-broadcast television stations in the U.S. will not be broadcasting in analog after June 12, 2009 and will be broadcasting only in digital moving forward. Broadcast stations can by law switch prior to the June date if they gain clearance from the FCC, so make sure to check with local broadcasters to see which areas will be affected.
2.    Households with analog TV's using rabbit ears or roof-top antennae have one of three options--Purchase a digital-to-analog converter box that costs between $40-$70, upgrade to digital cable or satellite TV service with a local or national provider, or purchase a television with a built-in digital tuner.
3.    Each U.S. household is eligible to receive up to 2 coupons ($40 each) to help with the cost of purchasing a digital converter box. Consumers with expired coupons can reapply. More information on where to apply for coupons and how to find certified retailers that sell digital converter boxes is available at dtv2009.gov.
4.    Households that own TV's manufactured after March 1, 2007 should contain a digital tuner, as required by federal law. Check the product manual or labels on the TV to ensure that a built-in digital tuner is included. TV's with a built-in digital tuner do not need to purchase a digital converter box. Check with the manufacturer to be certain the TV will function properly after the DTV transition.
5.    If upgrading to digital TV service, research providers to see whether local channels are offered with basic service and how much it costs to upgrade and receive additional features like HD, DVR, premium movie channels and more. Most cable and satellite providers offer new customers a variety of programming and pricing incentives when signing up for new TV service, so now is as good of a time as any to upgrade prior to the DTV transition.

Consumers can find detailed information on the digital transition at DTV.gov. Households across the country can also use WhiteFence.com to compare and shop cable and satellite packages from well known and trusted providers to save money on upgrading TV service before the transition. WhiteFence.com also helps customers save money and connect phone, high-speed Internet, electricity or natural gas and other home-related services from more than 40 categories without having to deal with multiple providers or sites.

About WhiteFence:
WhiteFence is a free service that helps people find the best deals on phone, Internet, television, electricity, natural gas and other home services. By simply entering a street address into the secure site, people looking to save money or start new service can find the most comprehensive list of plans available for their specific address from over 400 nationally recognized partners. As a trusted home service shopping source for 18 million people annually, WhiteFence makes it easy to establish service directly on the site in a few simple steps.


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Jodi Heibreder
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