Digital TV changeover deadline has passed

A RadioShack worker rang up a converter box yesterday in the Bronx. A RadioShack worker rang up a converter box yesterday in the Bronx. (David Goldman/Associated Press)
Hiawatha Bray / June 13, 2009
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America's transition to digital TV broadcasts is complete. As of midnight, every major station in the nation offers all-digital programs. Yet after years of public announcements, some people have been caught off-guard. If your TV set's on the blink, here's how to get tuned in:

◼Only viewers who use rooftop or "rabbit-ears" antennas are affected by the switch. Consider signing up for cable or satellite service.

◼Buying a new TV set will also solve the problem, because all new sets have digital tuners.

◼For older sets, you'll need a digital converter box, priced at around $60, and sold at many electronics, hardware, and drug stores. The federal government issues $40 coupons to defray the cost, but you'll have to wait a week or more to get a coupon.

◼You may also need a new antenna to pick up the digital signals. Try your old antenna first, and upgrade if necessary. Consider an amplified antenna, priced at around $50, if your standard antenna doesn't work.

For more information, call the Massachusetts Broadcasters Association at 866-961-2492, or check out federal government website,