Believe me. I didn’t know the answer to this either. A few of my friends during different conversations have asked about this so for clarification for anyone else that might have second thoughts about it.
Yes, in February of 2009, your analog televisions will not work. But with some caveats. This only effects over-the-air signals. That means, if you’ve been using “rabbit ears” (antennas) this whole time, then those won’t work anymore unless you get a digital tuner box. That’s why dtv2009.gov was created.
Now, if you use cable or satellite television, there shouldn’t be any changes. If you provider is telling you that you have to switch to “digital television” by 2009, then that’s actually wrong. I’ve actually had a couple friends come up and tell me that this is what they’ve been told by their friendly local cable provider’s customer service reps. If so, that’s extremely naughty to prey on people that thought they needed to change to digital television for “cable”.
So, if you didn’t know, now you know. If in doubt, go to the government website and take a looksie. And be reminded that it’s actually the air signals that are changing (the stuff you can get for free) and not any actual service providers.