Skip Navigation

Federal Communications Commission

English Display Options


DTV Transition and LPTV - Class A - Translator Stations


The FCC has established September 1, 2015 date for the termination of all analog low power television service. After that date, analog television will no longer be broadcast in the United States. Until that time, low power television stations may continue to operate their analog facilities.

Low power television stations have the opportunity to seek either an on-channel digital conversion of their existing analog facilities (“flash cut”) or may construct and operate a second digital companion channel during the remainder of the digital transition. However, all low power television stations will be required to decide a single digital channel to continue to operate after the September 1, 2015 transition date.

If you have an analog-only television that receives free over-the-air programming (with a roof-top antenna or "rabbit ears" on the TV), you will need to purchase a digital-to-analog (“D-to-A”) converter box in order to watch digital broadcast television. If you purchase a D-to-A converter box to watch digital broadcasts on an analog TV and also wish to continue watching analog LPTV, Class A or TV translator stations, you should purchase a converter box with "analog pass-through" capability, which allows analog broadcast signals to pass through the converter box to be tuned by your analog TV. Converter boxes are still sold at some department and electronics stores and online. When shopping for a converter box, check to make sure the converter box you are purchasing has analog pass-through capability.

If you purchase a digital-to-analog converter box without analog pass-through capability, you can use an "A-B switch" and/or a "signal splitter" and some extra cable to route the analog signals around the converter box in order to watch analog channels. A set-up guide is available at Alternatively, you can disconnect the antenna from the converter box and re-connect it directly to the TV to watch analog broadcasts. Check with the manufacturer of the digital-to-analog converter box and your retailer if you need additional instructions on how to connect the box to view broadcasts from both analog and digital stations.

For More Information

For information about this and other communications issues, visit the FCC’s Consumer website, or contact the FCC’s Consumer Center by calling 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322) voice or 1-888-TELL-FCC (1-888-835-5322) TTY; faxing 1-866-418-0232; or writing to:

Federal Communications Commission
Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau
Consumer Inquiries and Complaints Division
445 12th Street, S.W.
Washington, DC 20554

Print Out

DTV Transition and LPTV - Class A - Translator Stations Guide (pdf)

Updated: February 24, 2014

You are leaving the FCC website

You are about to leave the FCC website and visit a third-party, non-governmental website that the FCC does not maintain or control. The FCC does not endorse any product or service, and is not responsible for, nor can it guarantee the validity or timeliness of the content on the page you are about to visit. Additionally, the privacy policies of this third-party page may differ from those of the FCC.