TALLAHASSEE (FDACS)- Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Charles H. Bronson today reminded citizens that they could be without television reception as early as next week as a result of the conversion of the broadcast industry from analog airwaves to digital. While the federal government recently delayed the deadline for the switch until June 12, some television stations plan to convert their broadcasting format on February 17, which had been the original deadline. What it means is that consumers with older television sets that lack a digital tuner (sometimes called a digital receiver) and rely on “rabbit ears” or a rooftop antenna will lose their signal. Those with cable or satellite hookups will not be affected.
To avoid any interruption of service, consumers can do one of three things:
— Purchase a digital-to-analog converter box that plugs into your existing television.
— Subscribe to a cable, satellite or telecommunications service provider.
— Purchase a television set with a built-in digital tuner.
For more information on the digital television transition, visit http://www.dtv.gov or call 1-888-CALL-FCC. For information about receiving $40 coupons toward the purchase of a converter box, visit http://www.dtv2009.gov or call 1-888-DTC-2009.
Consumers can also call Bronson’s Consumer Services Division at 1-800-HELPFLA (1-800-435-7352) for information about consumer issues in general or to be directed to the best resource for assistance.