Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-35) is working to ensure that residents of her district have the most up-to-date information regarding the June 12th transition of all television programming in the United States from an analog signal to a digital signal. This digital television (DTV) transition is intended to allow clearer pictures and more programming choices for TV viewers and free up airwaves for use by community first responders so they can better communicate in times of emergency. After the transition, televisions that use an analog signal--typically "rabbit ears" or a rooftop antenna--to receive their programming may not function properly.
"Many people rely on television to provide them with news, weather and emergency notifications in addition to entertainment programs," said Congresswoman Waters. "I want to make sure everyone is able to stay informed as well as continue watching their favorite shows, and I encourage my constituents and all Americans to take steps to ensure that they are ready for the June 12th transition."
People who own a television with a digital tuner--true of most TV sets purchased in the past couple of years--will most likely continue receiving TV programming as usual after the transition. People who subscribe to a pay TV service should also have no problems after the DTV transition but can check with their cable company or satellite provider.
However, people who currently watch TV on an older, analog TV set that is not connected to cable, satellite or other pay TV service need to take action before TV stations stop analog broadcasts on June 12th.
Congresswoman Waters said, "If you own an analog TV set, you do not have to buy a new television. Instead you can get a DTV converter box that you can plug into your current TV, allowing you to receive your normal television programming. The Federal Government is offering a $40 coupon to help you buy a converter box for your current television set, and every household is eligible to receive up to two coupons."
People can request a TV converter coupon by calling a 24-hour consumer hotline at 1-888-DTV-2009 (1-888-388-2009) or visiting www.dtv2009.gov. Additional information about the DTV transition is available at 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322) and www.dtv.gov.
The public is also invited to attend several public events in the Los Angeles area to learn more about the DTV transition.
Twenty one million American households use analog, and the DTV transition will especially affect low-income families, the elderly and minorities.
The Los Angeles metropolitan area, including the communities represented by Congresswoman Waters, has been identified by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration as one of the nation's "hotspot markets", requiring extra support to make the transition to DTV.
DTV transition had been scheduled to take effect in February, but Congress passed legislation to delay it until June 12th. Congresswoman Waters supported this delay, concerned that many of her constituents were not able to prepare for the earlier timetable, and noting that in February more than 8,000 residents of the 35th Congressional District were still on the waiting list for converter box coupons.
"I realize that the transition to digital television has caused some confusion and problems, but there are many good sources of information available. My staff has provided assistance to people who need help preparing for DTV and is happy to share materials in both English and Spanish explaining how to get ready for DTV," said Congresswoman Waters.
The phone number for Congresswoman Waters' office in Los Angeles is (323) 757-8900. Residents who have access to the Internet can find additional information and tips on Congresswoman Waters' web site at http://www.house.gov/apps/list/press/ca35_waters/dtvhelp.html <http://www.house.gov/apps/list/press/ca35_waters/dtvhelp.html>
Upcoming Public Events Providing Information about the Digital Television Transition
June 11, 8:30AM-1:30AM
767 N. Hill St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
June 11, 12:00PM-6:00PM
DTV Outreach--L.A. walk-in Center
639 N. Hill Street
June 11, 10:30AM-1:30AM
5306 S. Compton
Los Angeles, CA 90011
June 12, 10:00AM-6:00PM
June 13, 12:30PM-4:00PM
4035 Tweedy Boulevard
South Gate, CA 90280