In response to concerns expressed by consumer groups and television stations, the U.S. Congress passed into law an act that will delay the transition to digital broadcasting until June 12, 2009.
Even though the final deadline for terminating analog broadcasts is June 12, some full-power broadcast television stations in the United States may stop broadcasting analog airwaves and begin broadcasting only in digital on Feb. 17, 2009, the original date set for the transition. The remaining stations may stop broadcasting analog sometime between March 14 and June 12.
The delay allows consumers a bit more time to acquire a converter box, if they need one. The converter box coupon program has been extended until July 31, 2009. For more information on the Digital-to-Analog Converter Box Coupon Program, visit www.dtv2009.gov, or call 1-888-388-2009.
Rvers may be interested in converters that can operate directly from 12VDC power sources. The Escapees Club technical advisor, Mark Nemeth, offers the following advice:
There are a number of converter boxes available that run on 12VDC. I mentioned the Artec T3A DTV Converter Box in a previous Escapees magazine article. There are also converters that can be operated on 12VDC available from Winegard . Another online store, has a section dedicated to 12VDC converters.
Any of these units should work well for RVers who like to camp away from hookups, and all qualify for the $40 coupon program.
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The reason some stations are not delaying is that they have scheduled expensive projects or repairs requiring the analog portion of the station be off for just after the original switch date.
Most late model RVs should already have digital ready televisions.
Mike Goad (at home in Arkansas)
Haw Creek Out ‘n About