Since June of 2009, consumers must have a digital television to watch local channel programming without a digital converter box or a subscription to some cable or satellite service. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has taken measures to protect consumers against unfair trade practices at the point of sale. Consumers purchasing a television will want to know if it is analog or digital, as analog televisions will not receive over-the-air programming without a converter box.
Check a new television for a label stating that the television is not digital. Since March of 2007, the FCC mandates all retailers to prominently display the following text on analog televisions: “This television receiver has only an analog broadcast tuner and will require a converter box after February 17, 2009, to receive over-the-air broadcasts with an antenna because of the Nation’s transition to digital broadcasting. Analog-only TVs should continue to work as before with cable and satellite TV services, gaming consoles, VCRs, DVD players, and similar products. For more information, call the Federal Communications Commission at 1-888-225-5322 (TTY: 1-888-835-5322) or visit the Commission’s digital television website at: www.dtv.gov. “
Read the owner’s manual. Any reference to a digital tuner or digital receiver is an indication that the television is digital. However, terms like “Digital Ready” or “Digital Monitor” are indications that the television does not have a digital tuner but will operate with a digital input, such as digital cable or satellite.
Check the identification tag or serial code label. Certain brands will indicate here that the television is digital.
Search the make and model of the television in the manufacturer’s website or any online search engine. The words “analog” or “digital” will appear in the specifications for the television.
Federal Communications Commission: Consumer Facts