Help Seniors Keep Watching Their Favorite Programs
Right at Home stresses the importance of regular physical activity for our senior clients, and part of our mission is to encourage clients to be as active and engaged as possible. But we also know that spending a little “couch potato” time watching TV is a way that many seniors pass the time pleasantly and stay connected with the outside world.
So we would like to help spread the word that early next year, some viewers may be in for a surprise when they are suddenly unable to receive a broadcast signal. The Federal Trade Commission cautions that seniors are especially likely to be caught unaware when the DTV conversion takes place on February 17, 2009.
What is the DTV Conversion?
On that date next February, all full power television stations are required to stop broadcasting in analog and convert to broadcasting in digital only. This switchover is necessary to give needed communications channels to police, fire and emergency departments, and to eventually offer consumers more choices and better picture and sound quality, including high definition (HDTV) programming.
Who Will Be Affected?
Any analog TV set that currently receives over-the-air programming using a broadcast antenna, either through “rabbit ears” on the set or an antenna on the roof, will be affected. Digital sets will not be affected. And if you receive your signal by cable or satellite TV, there will also be no change.
Will I Need to Purchase a New TV?
No. Analog sets which receive over-the-air programming will only need a digital-to-analog converter box to continue receiving broadcast television. These boxes are now available in many stores.
How Much Will That Cost?
Digital-to-analog converter boxes will cost approximately $40 to $70…but to help defray the cost, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) is offering coupons, worth $40 each, to be used toward the purchase of eligible boxes.
For more information about the DTV conversion, where to find a converter box and how to get the discount coupon, call the FCC at 1-888-225-5322 (TTY: 1-888-835-5322) or visit their DTV web site at www.dtv.gov; to learn more about the coupon program, visit www.dtv2009.gov or call 1-888-DTV-2009.
Right at Home is a national organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for those we serve. We fulfill that mission through a dedicated network of locally owned, franchised providers of in-home care and assistance services.