Monday, January 05, 2009

DTV conversion deadline approaches: Gov't running out of coupons



Multiple media sources are reporting that the government is running out of the coupons for Digital TV conversion. Every family or household was supposed to be eligible for two coupons regardless of means (not certain if there were any social wrinkles in the definition of household or family). Tuesday February 17, 2009 is the last day of full-power analog television according to federal law.

The bill HR 6933 to extend the coupon date never became law, nor did HR 6763. The basic applicable law seems to be the Digital TV Transition and Public Safety Act of 2005, with an NTIA information page here.

Most of the boxes cost about $40 and can be purchased in drug stores. Only older sets equipped only with rabbit ears will need conversions; sets already receiving cable or satellite television will continue working normally.

The FCC’s page on the Digital TV transition is here.

There was an earlier story about this issue on my main blog Feb. 8, 2007.

Kim Hart has an article Jan. 6, 2009 on p D01 of The Washington Post, "TV Converter Program Runs Out of Funding," link here.

The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has an important link on the conversion here.

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