Archive for Thursday, February 12, 2009

Digital switch delayed

February 12, 2009

Analog television watchers will now have a little more time before the official switch to digital television arrives.

That’s because the federal government decided to move back the digital change over from Feb. 17 to June 12. On that date, all full-power television stations will stop broadcasting in analog and continue broadcasting in digital only, which means certain types of televisions will no longer work.

As the original deadline was quickly approaching, organizations such as the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and the Bonner Springs Senior Center were working hard to educate the public.

“We’ve had guest speakers come in twice,” said senior center Director Nancy Johnson. “Most people understand they need to do something, but the new technology can be hard to understand.”

In a newsletter sent out by the Unified Government, it stressed that people should know the upcoming switch does not mean that everyone has to go out and buy a new TV that contains a digital tuner. For those TV-watchers who receive their signal through an analog television using a broadcast antenna or “rabbit ears,” a digital-to-analog converter box will be required after June 12.

The converter boxes will cost approximately $40 to $70, but Johnson said the federal government is supplying coupons upon request that will cover up to $40 of the cost.

Each household can apply for two $40 coupons, which cannot be combined toward one box.

The Unified Government’s information said the antenna used to receive analog broadcasts will continue to work for digital broadcasts, as long as it is connected to a digital-to-analog converter box. And for those with a TV containing a built-in digital tuner, a converter box will not be needed.

According to the federal government’s Web site, dtv.gov, if you subscribe to a paid television service such as cable or satellite, you will not need a converter box, and the TVs connected to your paid service will continue to receive local broadcast programming.

For those who decide to buy a new digital television, the Mid-America Regional Council has released a reminder to recycle your old televisions, which contain hazardous substances that can be dangerous to the environment. MARC suggested the following locations to safely recycle an old television:

• AVC Recovery Systems, 33 Skyline Drive, Adrian, Mo., 64720, (913) 219-4900

• Best Buy — Starting Feb. 15, consumers can bring up to two televisions per day, per household, for recycling at any U.S. Best Buy store.

• Electronic Disposal Technologies, Inc., 525 W. 9th St., Kansas City, Mo., 64101, (816) 210-3015

• Forerunner Recycling, 8240 E. Bannister Rd., Kansas City, Mo., 64138, (816) 807-5454

• The Surplus Exchange, 518 Santa Fe, Kansas City, Mo., 64105, (816) 472-0444

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