If you still receive your television signal off your old rabbit ears, take notice: On Friday June 12, your television set will no longer receive a signal from local stations.
But it's not too late, digital converter boxes are available at local retailers and $40 converter coupons are still available until July 31. A digital converter box will need to be connected to every television that receives a signal from an analog antennae. Cable and satellite subscribers will not be affected by the nationwide.
Unlike an analog signal, a digital signal is transmitted in "data bits." The quality of digital sound and picture is greater than analog, providing higher resolution. It also allows stations to multicast several programs at once. It may also be possible to provide interactive video and data services not possible on analog technology.
The switch frees up airwaves for emergency communications and telecommunications.
If you have not yet applied for the $40 coupon, or received your coupon in the mail, emergency broadcasts are still available on your local radio stations. Every radio station is required by law to broadcast the Emergency Alert System. News, weather, sports and information is broadcast by a number of Portland radio stations, including KOPB 91.5 FM, KBOO 90.7 FM, KEX 1190 AM and many others. You can visit www.pdxradio.com for information on Portland's radio stations.
To apply for a coupon, households must call 1-888-DTV-2009 or visit www.DTV2009.gov. It typically takes about nine business days to receive your coupons. To track the status of your coupons, visit: https://www.dtv2009.gov/CheckStatus.asp.
Some newer television models come with built-in digital receivers. The website, www.dtvtransition.org allows you to check which models come with built in digital tuners. As all local stations are currently broadcasting in digital, it should be possible to receive stations without a converter box after television stations end broadcasting in analog on June 12.
For information on local assistance applying for the coupons, finding a certified retailer that sells the converter boxes, installing a box, antenna trouble-shooting, or other questions, please call or visit your DTV Assistance Center today. Please also make sure your neighbors, friends and family – especially the elderly or non-English speakers – know about the conversion:
Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO)
10301 NE Glisan
Portland, OR 97220
Urban League of Portland
10 N. Russell St.
Portland, OR 97227
Open for walk-in DTV assistance Mon- Fri, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
If you have a coupon and don't need it, please consider donating it. Extra, valid coupons can be sent to:
Portland DTV Coupon Exchange Program
SW Morrison St, Suite 910
Portland, OR 97025