The Big Switch: In 2 Days

There are two questions we’ve been asked a good bit lately when it comes to the Big Switch to digital television:

The first is, “Why do you keep talking about it?  Don’t you think everyone already knows about it?”

BIGSWITCH_LOGOThe answer is simple:  as much as we’d like to think that everyone does know, we know for a fact, based on research, that there are still millions of homes in the U.S.  which aren’t ready for the end of analog broadcasts, even though stations like LIVE 5 WCSC have been educating viewers about the switch for more than a full year.  We want to make sure that everyone is fully aware of what is changing, so that’s why we talk about it. 

The second question we’ve been getting lately is whether it’s too late to order those digital converter box coupons.

The answer here isn’t quite so simple.  DTV_Converter_CouponYou may still apply for a $40 converter box coupon through July 31st, but there are two catches:  the first is that at this point, you won’t receive your coupon before the switch, so if you have no cable or satellite service and your television isn’t equipped with a digital tuner, you may be without TV reception until you get the converter box.

And we certainly don’t want that!

The other catch is that the coupons will only be issued while supplies last.  So if the coupons run out, the July 31st deadline will no longer apply.

If you haven’t ordered your coupon and you’d still like to, call the Coupon Hotline at 1-888-DTV-2009.

We hope you’re ready for the Big Switch and that you’ll enjoy the new era of all-digital broadcasting!


2 thoughts on “The Big Switch: In 2 Days

  1. What about portable, battery-operated TVs bought for emergencies, power outages? Lots of people have them in “hurricane/emergency” kits, and I doubt they realize TVs won’t work this season. Most portable TVs have antennas with no way to plug in converter, plus you’d need electricity for the converter! Duh! Anybody making battery powered TVs equipped with converter? ALSO, will we lose AUDIO signal without converter – i.e. emergency alert radios with TV Bands?

    • Jamie,

      You raise excellent questions.

      Unfortunately, those portable, battery-powered television sets that do NOT have an antenna input for a converter box will no longer function after Friday.

      Our chief engineer tells me that you can purchase a battery-powered digital television online at stores like for about $100.

      They also apparently make battery-powered converter boxes, so if you have an older battery-powered television that DOES have an input for the converter box, that will still work.

      Also, the TV band on weather radios will no longer pick up the broadcast stations, either.

      But there are alternatives: when severe tropical weather is imminent, LIVE 5 NEWS will partner with the South Carolina Radio Network and will simulcast coverage on the radio. We will promote which stations will switch to continuous coverage well ahead of a storm.

      Also, if you do have power or have access to Wi-Fi on a laptop computer, we will stream live on the web at

      Thanks for the great questions! We’re glad to see that our viewers are already getting a jump start on preparing for hurricane season!

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