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Digital TV Transition

SBCA members can offer a directv hd receiver.By law, between April 16 and June 12, all full-power television stations will turn off their analog signals and begin broadcasting exclusively in the digital format. The switch to digital television, known as the Digital Television (DTV) transition, will affect more than 34 million households nationwide that receive over-the-air broadcast signals.

Digital is a more efficient way to broadcast, it will allow viewers to enjoy improved picture and sound quality, and it will free up the airwaves for variety of other important services, including public safety and advanced wireless technology.

To continue receiving television signals, households affected by the DTV transition will need to subscribe to a multiplatform service (satellite or digital cable), purchase a new digital television or purchase and install a converter box which will convert the digital signal into analog, making it viewable on an analog television set.

Through the federal government’s TV Converter Coupon Program, all U.S. households can apply for up to two $40 coupons.  These coupons can be used toward the purchase of coupon-eligible converter boxes at participating retailers nationwide.

The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has established an online database to refer potential consumers to retailers who are participating in the TV Converter Coupon Program at

The DTV transition thereby offers a great opportunity for retailers to engage the roughly 17.8% of broadcast-only households and commercial establishments that will require assistance, drive customer traffic through their doors and increase sales through customers wishing to upgrade their non-digital television sets or subscribe to satellite or digital cable.

Many national retailers have already signed up for this program.  However, since many potential customers are from rural or ethnic communities, there is substantial opportunity for independent retailers to benefit as well.

To become a certified retailer for the TV Converter Box Coupon Program and take advantage of this potential opportunity, interested businesses must submit their application by Monday, March 31, 2008.  To certify, each retailer, must follow these four easy steps:

  • Obtain a D-U-N-S number at or (866) 705-5711.  A D-U-N-S Number is a unique, nine-digit sequence recognized as the universal standard for identifying and keeping track of over 100 million businesses worldwide.  
  • Obtain from the Unites States Department of Labor at the Occupational Safety & Health Administration a North American Industry and Classification System (NAICS) at and Standard Industry Classification (SIC) code at
  • Register the business to be eligible for reimbursement with the Central Contractor Register at and input your D-U-N-S number, SIC code and bank information.
  • Register your business with NTIA at and input your store name and information and D-U-N-S number.  NTIA takes roughly two weeks to process and verify information.

Remember, in order to certify and be listed as an authorized TV Convertor Box Coupon Box Program retailer, you must sign up no later than Monday, March 31, 2008. 

For more information on the DTV transition or the retailer certification process, please contact our staff at or (202) 349-3640, or the TV Converter Box Coupon Program Retailer Support Center at (866) 296-1107