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Office of Cable Communications

Digital Television

Digital TV Transition
in the News

Comprehensive look at
digital TV: the transition, recommended TV brands, etc.

Digital TV Answers - 30-Second Spots

View a short video on
the digital transition

Watch an in depth video discussion of the digital transition with local experts and the Seattle City Council

Please recycle your old TV. Free locations in Seattle listed here. Want a $20 curbside pickup? Call Seattle Public Utilities at 684-3000 to request an appointment.

NAPCA National Multilingual Toll-free
Helpline Numbers:

English 1-800-336-2722
Korean 1-800-582-4259
Chinese 1-800-582-4218
Vietnamese 1-800-582-4336

Television Digital Conversions

There are two types of analog to digital conversions that have taken place:

  1. The conversion of over-the-air broadcast channels from analog to digital.
  2. The Comcast conversion of certain channels from analog to digital.

Over the Air Digital Conversion

The over the air broadcast conversion was completed on June 12, 2009. TV viewers, who had televisions with digital (ACTV) tuners, had no problem receiving the over the air digital signals. Those with older televisions without digital tuners and who did not subscribe to cable or satellite television service were required to obtain a digital converter in order to view television after the conversion date. The National Technology Information Agency (NTIA) provided coupons good towards the purchase of these digital antennas from area electronics providers such as Best Buy and Radio Shack. If for some reason you never obtained a converter and need one, they should be available at the following retail outlets. Price is typically around $50.

Comcast Conversion

The Comcast digital conversion was a separate event in October of 2009. In order to conserve bandwidth for more services, Comcast converted channels 32-71 from analog to digital. Customers of Expanded Basic service without a set top box were required to obtain a converter in order to continue viewing channels 32-71. Subscribers to the Limited Basic tier did not need a converter since they will continue to receive analog programs. If you require a converter, please contact Comcast at 1-800-COMCAST.

Future Conversions

In the near future we expect Comcast and Broadstripe to convert all remaining analog channels to digital. We will provide advanced notice of these changes.

Digital channels offer better picture and sound and consume much less bandwidth than analog channels. While in some cases it may be inconvenient, in the end television viewers do benefit.

Consumer Alert!

Some retailers are selling the old, analog TV's without required notice that the TV's will be obsolete after 2/17/09. If you are buying a new TV, please make sure that it says "digital," has an input connection labeled "digital input" or has the letters ATSC.

For additional information, please visit

Digital TV Publications - in English and other languages.

Additional languages are available.

For more information - Brenda Tate - 386-1989.

Para español - Tony Perez - 386-0070.


Office of Cable Communications
Contact Us: (206) 684-8498 | Fax: (206) 684-0911