LTE: June 12 – The Death of Rabbit Ears

It is early evening on June 12th and you turn your television set on to watch “Jeopardy.” Nothing happens. If you are like me, you then hit the top of the television one time hard, click the remote again and wait for your high-technology solution to work. Again, nothing happens.

You have just suffered analog failure. Your television, like the Hubble telescope, needs some updating. But it won’t take a spacewalk to accomplish it. You need to purchase a converter box.

The nation’s television broadcasters are required by law to switch from analog broadcasting to digital broadcasting on June 12th of this year.

“Why didn’t they just leave well enough alone?” you ask. Well I asked the same thing and the answer comes under the name of progress. Digital delivers a clearer picture and it uses less of the airwaves than the system put in place in the 1940s. You can still find black and white reruns of “The Honeymooners,” from back in the day, but for the most part, television has changed considerably.

And there is rhyme and reason to changing things after all these years. After the transition takes place, the saved airwaves will be turned over to fire and police departments for emergency communications.

Now, if your television is connected to cable, satellite, or another pay TV service, you have no worries. They have already made the switch. But if you still rely on free, over-the-air reception with an antenna or rabbit ears, you will be obsolete on June 12th.

The solutions are as follows: purchase a TV converter box; or buy a television with a digital tuner; or subscribe to one of the pay systems.

The converter box is available at stores listed online. You can get up to two $40 coupons per household toward the purchase of the converter boxes by applying to the Department of Commerce at that same website, or you can call 1-888-388-2009. More than 55 million of these coupons have gone to families across the country.

Get that converter box and you can keep watching Alex Trebek asking those questions on June 12th. Without it, even that hard hit to the television won’t work for you.

Congressman Glenn Thompson, R-Howard
PA – Fifth Congressional District

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