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Digital TV Transition

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Although the U.S. House of Representatives has pushed the nation's transition back to June 12, KUAM will be transitioning on the original date of February 17 and viewers need to be ready. If you have any questions about DTV through KUAM, call 635-5817 Monday through Friday from 9am-5pm.

After February 17, 2009, all full-powered television stations will broadcast only in digital. Digital television is a more efficient technology, which means the transition to digital offers benefits for television viewers and the country's local communities including:

- Better picture and sound quality: Most viewers will see improved clarity and color when watching their favorite news, sports or entertainment programming.

- Additional channels/multicasting: TV stations will be able to provide several channels of programming at once. For example, if you normally watch channel two, it will still be available to you. But you may also get channel 2.1 that broadcasts local weather throughout the day or channel 2.2 that provides your favorite programs at a different time of day. These channels will be available at no additional cost.

- Additional services: Additional data services, such as enhanced closed- captioning, that are not possible in analog will now be available.

- Improved emergency communications: With the change from analog to digital, portions of the analog TV airwaves (known as the "spectrum"), will be made available to local emergency responders such as local firefighters, police and 9-1-1 responders. This means improved emergency communications capacity and safer communities.

Most of these benefits are available now from the more than 1,600 television stations across the country that are already broadcasting in digital. Consumers with over-the-air analog TVs that use "rabbit ears" or a rooftop antenna must choose one of three options: 1) buy a converter box that will plug into their current analog TV; 2) connect their analog TV to cable, satellite or other pay service; or 3) buy a TV with a digital tuner to continue using their analog TV after February 17, 2009 and to experience the benefits of digital television.

To help households with this transition, the Federal government is providing coupons toward the purchase of coupon-eligible converter boxes. All U.S. households are able to request up to two, $40 coupons to help pay for the cost of certified TV converter boxes. For more information about the TV Converter Box Coupon Program, or to apply for coupons:

- Web:
- Toll Free Phone: 1-888-388-2009 (1-888-DTV-2009)
- Mail: PO Box 2000, Portland, OR 97208 • Fax:1-877-DTV-4ME2 (1-877-388-4632)
- Deaf or hard of hearing callers may dial 1-877-530-2634 (English/TTY) or 1-866-495-1161 (Spanish/TTY)

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