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A Time for Seniors: How to prepare for television change

By: Candace Roeder
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Dear Candace: I keep hearing about the upcoming changes with television transmission early in 2009. Any information would be appreciated. I always read your column and appreciate all your helpful insight and wisdom on senior matters in our community. We attended your annual fundraiser at the Ridge on Nov. 1 and had a great time. Is there any other way we can support Seniors First? — A.F. Dear A.F.:The change will occur at midnight on Feb. 17. The transmission will change and all television signals will switch to digital. At that time all analog transmission will stop. Some local stations have already made the change. There will only be a small percentage of people that will need to purchase converter boxes to be able to pick up the new signals. Those who currently are using a cable or satellite service will not need a converter box as the service you are currently getting is digital TV. Also, if you have a TV with a digital receiver but get your reception from an antenna, you will not need to make any changes. The only people who need to purchase the digital converter boxes are those whose reception comes from rabbit ears or an antenna and do not have digital televisions. Best Buy and Radio Shack carry converter boxes. They cost around $60. However, the federal government provides coupons to offset the cost. To request up to two $40 off coupons, call (888) 388-2009 or order online at www.dtv2009.gov. They will be available through March and take a few weeks to arrive. They will only good up to 90 days after they are mailed. Installation is pretty simple in most cases. Best Buy and Fowlers TV will also provide installation. Please contact them for installation costs. Dear Candace: I’ve just moved to the Auburn area and was wondering if Seniors First is part of the local Senior Center or how I could contact them. I would like to find out about local support groups they might offer or other ways that I can stay active and involved. — L. V. Dear L.V.: Seniors First is not part of the MultiPurpose Senior Center, but we are great neighbors. They are located just behind us at 11577 E Ave. Their phone is (530) 823-8172. They have dance, aerobics, tai chi, painting and many other classes, activities and support groups for diabetes, grief recovery, M.S. and MADD. Bingo is on Fridays and the third Monday at 5:30 p.m. is a spaghetti/bingo dinner. It’s a great place to stay active and involved! Candace Roeder is Executive Director of Seniors First. Mail your senior-related questions to: A Time For Seniors, c/o Seniors First, 11566 ‘D’ Avenue, Auburn, CA 95603 or email to Candace @seniorsfirst.org or call her at 530-889-9500 ext. 203.