TTY: 1-888-TELL-FCC (1-888-835-5322) Fax: 1-866-418-0232
Federal Communications Commission Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau
445 12th St., SW
Washington, DC 20554
Why Are Broadcast TV Stations Switching to All-Digital?
Congress mandated the conversion to all-digital television broadcasting, also known as the digital
television (DTV) transition, because all-digital broadcasting will free up frequencies for public safety
communications (such as police, fire, and emergency rescue). Also, digital is a more efficient
transmission technology that allows broadcast stations to offer improved picture and sound quality, as
well as offer more programming options for consumers through multiple broadcast streams
(multicasting). In addition, some of the freed up frequencies will be used for advanced commercial
wireless services for consumers.
What Do I Need To Do To Be Ready For The DTV Transition?
What you need to do depends on the source of your television programming, whether you receive
programming over-the-air or from a paid provider such as a cable or satellite TV company.
How Do I Receive Digital Broadcasts If I Don’t Subscribe To Cable Or Satellite?
If you receive only free over-the-air television programming, the type of TV you own, either a digital TV
or an analog TV, is very important. Consumers who receive only free over-the-air television may view
digital programming through a TV set with a built-in digital tuner (integrated DTV) or a digital-ready
monitor with a separate digital tuner set-top box. (Both of these digital television types are referred to as
a DTV). The only additional equipment required to view over-the-air digital programming with a DTV is a
regular antenna, either on your roof or a smaller version on your TV such as “rabbit ears.”