Getting an HDTV Converter for Your Television

January 23, 2008 – 11:49 am, posted by hdtvlabs

If you have been hearing all of the buzz about how analog broadcasting will become obsolete by the end of 2009, you might be worried that it means you will need to purchase a new television. Although some television companies have tried to send the message that non-HDTVs will be worthless by 2010, this actually is not true. What is true, however, is that you may need to purchase some special additional equipment in order to receive the signal for your television.

Since the switch from analog to digital is a process being enforced by the government, the government is actually helping people make the switch. In fact, the Digital Television Transition and Public Safety Act has $900 million set aside to help people make the switch. Most of this money will be used toward coupons, which will be used to help consumers better afford the purchase of the converters. Each of these coupons will be worth $40 when used to purchase a converter.

Though there are no income restrictions for these coupons, only two per household will be allowed. In addition, the coupons are only going to be dispersed through the mail. In this way, the government hopes to better monitor the coupons and make sure only two are sent to each household. Coupons for the converters will start to go out on February 17th.

If you are interested in getting one of these coupons, you can call a 24 hour hotline at 1-888-388-2009.

If you aren’t certain if you need a converter or not, you will need to consult with your television manual or look at the actual television. If your television is described with any of the following terms, you don’t need a converter:

  • ATSC
  • Digital Receiver
  • Digital Tuner
  • Digital Tuner Built-In
  • DTV
  • HDTV
  • Integrated Digital Tuner

If you do need a converter, you will have to decide what features you want your converter to have. Do you need an analog signal passthrough? Smart antenna interface? Check out our hdtv converter information pages and hdtv converter reviews before buying an HD converter. That will help you to make the right choice.

  1. 19 Responses to “Getting an HDTV Converter for Your Television”

  2. What does a person do if they have a portable TV?? Is there a portable converter or a battery operated one???

    By Sam on Aug 20, 2008

  3. Has anyone responded with an answer to your question. If so, please let me know the answer.

    By Tina on Aug 22, 2008


    By william albro on Aug 22, 2008

  5. William, call them toll-free 1-888-DTV-2009

    By hdtvlabs on Aug 23, 2008

  6. My TV Converter Box Coupon expired in July, 2008. How can I replace these 2 coupons? I called 1-888-388-2009 many times and there are no “real” customer services people (only a tape recorder that keeps repeating the same thing)? Looking forward to a reply. Thanks!

    By Tony on Sep 8, 2008

  7. if the government is allowing this to take place then the government should pay for the whole thing. this is becoming a comunist government where they force you to do thier thing thier way and expect you to pay for it. where is the justice in this. what is our country becoming or going to the old saying the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. there is no more middle class just the rich or the poor. someone needs to do something about our country and it poor people.

    By angel on Oct 30, 2008

  8. My coupons expired july 2008.Is there anywhere i can get two more coupons.We did not know there was a 90 day expiration date on them. Thank,You Kindly!

    By Janice on Nov 29, 2008

  9. 1. They will not send you another coupon. They claim, this action is to monitor the coupons. I requested but never received any coupons.

    2. What about portable TVs? Did anyone answer Sam’s question?

    3. Instead of calling, flood their mailbox ( After 4 months of hearing that stupid recording, I started emailing. I received a response 2 weeks later. “Will not issue any more coupons to the household.

    By Mickey on Dec 19, 2008

  10. Hello, I also did recieve my coupons but did not realise there was a expiration date…why is there a expiration date anyway??? Especially since were being force into this by the government and why is the government even involved to begin with? It makes a person really wonder what’s really going on here! who does one write to, to find out why this is being forced onto people? thank you for your time

    By diane whisler on Jan 5, 2009

  11. i connected my converter to my tv and it doesnt let any of the basic channels come through.. i can get them with my antenna ( rabit ears) but when the switch is done will i be able to see the basic channels then? will the converter not pick up ch 3 because it hasnt swithced yet? lil help… should i just take back the converter or have i hooked it up wrong? i get 3 weird channels through it but not the basics i usually get! please help

    By katie on Jan 11, 2009

  12. My Dtv coupons expire tomorrow and i dont have the extra money which is $9.97. What do i do? Is it to late for me and i just wont have reception?

    By Tracy on Jan 26, 2009

  13. This is for Katie who posted on Jan. 11. I experienced the same thing. Since the converter box is designed to accomodate the new digital signal, and that change over has not yet occured, your normal signal is now scrambled (sort of) through the converter. Just go back to your atennae hook up until February 17 when the signal changes.
    For Tracy who posted on Jan 26. Borrow the money from someone. You can not get any more coupons. I agree that they should not expire for at least a year, but they do because it’s the government….all that stupid red tape.

    By Lezlie on Jan 26, 2009

  14. Since there are so many expired coupons, we all should send them back and ask for replacements. That way a household will not receive more than their allotted 2 coupons and the government can still ‘control’ the number of coupons distributed to each household.

    By Richard on Jan 31, 2009

  15. save up your money and don’t use government funding. “the end of a democracy occurs when the people realize they can vote themselves gifts” i.e. if you use government money, you are supporting the decline of our nation, most likely to a dictatorship. better yet, don’t watch tv at ALL. what a novel idea.

    By DAVID on Feb 3, 2009

  16. I requested two coupons and like others I never got them…mail problem or government????same to me…did they ever get sent in the first place? They say they have expired without ever being used so why not send replacements…Cannot get a real person and no response to any communication except email to say no more can be sent…they expired unused…Do not understand if they know they haven’t been used why not replace them?
    What frustration for older people to go through.

    By gayle on Feb 3, 2009

  17. I requested cards for me and my mom. Due to me taking care of a disabled child and mom not to say going through surgery, I didn’t realized there was an expiration date. I don’t understand whey they didn’t give us an option to receive the cards or get a refund back on our taxes the same as the stimulus refund. I am very upset when I see people buying them at the stores and I can’t get mine replace even if I send them back. What a country we live in.

    By Kathleen on Feb 18, 2009

  18. really i think this is auful what happens when we cant get the boxes before they expire..we cant watch tv so they might just cancel out all satelite dishes be good for us poor folk that cant get it lack of income. So then they give all us of tv again! There is gonna be a civil war , over what?
    Lots of things people are angry about..

    By yvonne on Mar 17, 2009

    They changed their minds according to this web site (below)
    They check to see the coupons were not used first

    You can apply for coupons several ways:

    * Apply for a coupon online.

    * Call the toll-free, 24-hour automated system at 1-888-DTV-2009.

    * Download a coupon application and mail it to TV Converter Box Coupon Program, P.O. Box 2000, Portland, OR 97208-2000.

    * Fax a coupon application to 1-877-388-4632 toll-free.

    * Deaf or hard-of-hearing callers may dial 1-877-530-2634 toll-free for English TTY or 1-866-495-1161 toll-free for Spanish TTY. This service is available from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. EDT Monday to Friday.

    GO to this web site for more info..

    By Richard on Apr 5, 2009

  20. I can no longer find dvtv coveters. where do I go?

    By amy on Aug 27, 2009

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