This means your analog TV doesn't work. You need help.
Get help by calling the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) DTV help line, which will put you in touch with someone that can help for your specific situation. The DTV help line number is (888) CALL FCC (888-225-5322).
The help line is expected to stay open through June 2009, but it may operate longer if consumer demand is high, according to the FCC.
How to Get Ready for Digital TV
Getting ready for digital TV is pretty easy if you have a good plan in order:
- You must own either a digital TV with a built-in digital tuner or a DTV converter box. You'll need the converter box if you own an analog TV, VCR, or tuner-less digital monitor. The government has a $40 coupon program for eligible converter boxes. You can apply for a $40 coupon online through July 31, 2009.
- You must own a working antenna and have it pointed at your local TV transmission towers. You might need to use a site like Antenna Web to get your tower coordinates or use the reception mapping tool at the FCC's DTV website. (Learn more about antennas.)
- You must have all components connected properly. Need help? Check out my DTV connection center. There are plenty of scenarios to help you get your converter box, antenna, VCR, DVD player, etc. connected.
- Your components must be powered on. Duh! I apologize for including this point but you just never know.
- Your TV or VCR must be tuned to the same channel as the converter box - typically channel 3 or 4. The designated channel is usually determined by a switch on the outside of the converter box casing. If it's turned to channel 3 then the TV must be on channel 3. If it's on channel 4 then the TV must be on channel 4.
- You must program the DTV converter box by running the channel scan function located within the converter box menu system. If you can't see the menu system then you either need to make sure that the TV and converter box is powered on, check your connections, and/or tune to the right channel.
- After the channel scan is completed you should have access to the digital stations in your area. If the picture doesn't look right then tweak it by either using your remote control or accessing picture size adjustments in the converter box menu system.
Get to know digital - what it can and can't do. When in doubt, take advantage of your tax dollars at work and call the DTV hotline at (888) CALL FCC (888-225-5322).