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Digital TV switch set for Friday

IRONTON — With less than four days until the switch to digital television takes place, those still procrastinating with getting set up for their analog television sets still have time for the DTV transition.

While most stations in the Tri-State, including WSAZ, WCHS, WVAH and WOWK, are already broadcasting in digital or a combination of both analog and digital, the switch to digital only will take place on June 12.

Those who are currently receiving their television signal via analog format and have applied for, but have not received the $40 discount coupon for the purchase of a converter box should purchase and install at least one converter box if possible by June 12 to maintain access to emergency alerts and news.

The Federal Communications Commission says plenty of converter boxes are available at retailers throughout the Tri-State.

Homeowners who have not applied for their coupons can still do so up until July 31, 2009, but will not receive their coupons in time for the June 12 transition.

Applying for a coupon is easy. Those needing one can call 1-888-DTV-2009 or order online at www.DTV2009.gov. It takes about 10 business days to receive the $40 coupon. Most converter boxes have been selling for $49.87 at most stores.

The switch from analog to digital television was to have taken place back on Feb. 17 following more than four years of planning.

However, faced with the reality that many Americans were not going to be ready for the February deadline, President Barack Obama postponed the switch until June 12.

At the time, estimates ranged that nearly seven million households who relied on an analog television for their signal were not ready to make the switch.

The conversion only affects viewers who watch television on an analog set with rabbit ears or a rooftop antenna. People who subscribe to cable or satellite television or have a newer television with a digital tuner will not be affected.

Analog customers can continue to receive the station by using a digital-to-analog converter box, subscribing to cable or satellite service, or buying a television with a digital tuner.