Many switching to DTV Tuesday

Published 8:40 pm Saturday, February 14, 2009

Even though the mandatory date for TV stations to make the switch to digital broadcast has been extended until June 12, many stations are poised to make the switch Tuesday.

Likewise, those who receive their TV signal via antenna are also preparing for the historic transition, either by purchasing a digital-ready TV or a converter box for their existing television set.

Handy TV Appliance in Clanton continues to sell about 20 converter boxes a day, sales associate James Rhodes estimated.

“We’re still selling them, and right now we still can get them,” he said.

But people are not adjusting to digital very well locally, Rhodes indicated. Signal strength seems to be sporadic in most areas.

“Rabbit ears do not work on them,” Rhodes warned.

Despite some difficulties, TV sales have also picked up due to the upcoming switch. Rhodes attributes half of those sales to the switch, though the troubled economy has done its part to counter the spike in sales.

“I’ve noticed in the past two months that TV sales have picked up,” Rhodes said.

Coupons issued by the government to assist people in the purchase of a converter box are still being accepted, but the company must first approve them through a Web site, Rhodes said.

“The funds on them are getting kind of slim right now,” he noted.

Some stores in the Birmingham area have reportedly turned down some coupons, he added.

For more information about the DTV switch, and for helpful tips, visit or