The Big Switch

What is "The Big Switch"?

The Big Switch refers to when over-the-air television stations will stop broadcasting on their current channels and must broadcast only a digital television signal (DTV).

When is The Big Switch?

After February 17, 2009 full-power TV stations will stop broadcasting on their current analog channels. In order to continue watching over-the-air broadcasts, viewers will have to buy an HDTV converter to use their current TV, or replace their existing TV.

What does HDTV cost?

Over-the-air HDTV will be free, like your current local programming is, but you will have to buy a HDTV Tuner (converter), or replace your television, in order to continue watching your local channels.

Will there be DTV Converter discount coupons?

Yes! According to the Department of Commerce, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has launched the Digital-to-Analog Converter Box Coupon Program. Per their website, "between Jan. 1, 2008, and March 31, 2009, all U.S. households will be eligible to request up to two coupons, worth $40 each, to be used toward the purchase of up to two, digital-to-analog converter boxes."

The HDTV Tuner coupon program is now active. Visit to request your coupons today.
Digital-to-Analog Converter Box Coupon Program:
Fact Sheet

  • The Coupon Program will receive coupon requests beginning January 1, 2008.
  • Consumers will be able to apply for their coupons through a Web site, via a toll-free number, or by mail.
  • Households will be able to apply for a maximum of two (2) coupons, each worth $40. Coupons will be mailed to eligible households and will expire after 90 days of issuance.
  • Coupons will be available on a first-come-first-serve basis to all U.S. households until $890 million has been expended.
  • If these initial funds are exhausted, an additional $450 million will be made available to households that receive only over-the-air television service.
  • Consumers may call toll free 1-888-DTV-2009 (1-888-388-2009) in English and Spanish for updates.
  • The hearing impaired may call the TTY number 1-877-530-2634 for information in English, and for information in Spanish, consumers can call TTY number 1-866-495-1161 for updates.
  • Consumer organizations and others interested in partnering with NTIA to promote the Coupon Program should contact Mary Lou Kenny at 202-482-9114.
  • To Request a Coupon, see Coupon Program details, Frequently Asked Questions and program information online visit:

We will have updates about the Coupon Program as more details are revealed, so bookmarks us and check back often.