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August 24 04:53 AM
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Converting to digital TV


Dear Editor,

Regular TV, as we know it, will change one year from now, on February 17, 2009. On that date, TV stations will stop broadcasting over-the-air analog TV, and begin broadcasting digital TV. Over-the-air analog TV relies on "rabbit ears" or roof antennas. Those sets will not be able to pick up digital TV signals after that date.

Senior citizens use the television as their primary source of entertainment, news and contact with the outside world.

There are three ways people can transition to digital reception: Switch to cable, satellite or telephone company service providers which will allow continued use of an analog television set; purchase a new television set with built-in digital tuner; or purchase a digital TV (DTV) converter box that can be easily attached to the analog TV.

There is help! Congress has appropriated funding to help with the purchase of the converter boxes for this transition. Beginning in 2008, households will be able to request up to two coupons, valued at $40, to be used toward the purchase of a converter box. Each converter box is expected to cost from $60 to $80. This is a one time charge.

It is important that customers order one or two coupons as soon as possible, as coupons will be issued on a "first come, first served" basis. Coupons can be ordered now! To order, go to www.dtv2009.gov, or call toll free 888-388-2009, or you may call the Lapeer County area Human Development Commission at (989) 673-4121.

Pat Hubel, Administrative Assistant, Valley Area Agency on Aging
April 02, 2008

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