Article source for : Don't know if anyone cares about this TV coupon deal, but
Coupon program begins to help low-tech TV owners convert to digital broadcasting(weird spam image)
AP ^ | 01/01/08 | John Dunbar
Dec 31 05:14 PM US/Eastern John Dunbar, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Write a Comment
WASHINGTON - Millions of US$40 government coupons become available Tuesday to help low-tech television owners in the United States buy special converter boxes for older TVs that might not work after the switch to digital broadcasting. Beginning Feb. 18, 2009, anyone who does not own a digital set and still gets their programming via over-the-air antennas will no longer receive a picture.
That's the day the television industry completes its transition from old-style analog broadcasting to digital.
The converter boxes are expected to cost between $50 and $70 and will be available at most major electronics retail stores. Starting Tuesday, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration will begin accepting requests for two $40 coupons per household to be used toward the purchase of the boxes.
Viewers who have satellite or cable service will not need a box.
To request a coupon, consumers can apply online at www.dtv2009.gov starting Tuesday. The government also has set up a 24-hour hotline to take requests, 1-888-DTV-2009 (1-888-388-2009).
The U.S. Congress, in ordering the transition to digital broadcasting, set aside $1.5 billion for the coupon program, which will fund 33.5 million coupons and other costs.
The giveaway basically works under the honour system.
The first 22 million coupons will go to all households that request them. That includes a residence that gets cable service for one television but has a spare TV that still uses an antenna, for example.
The rest of the coupons, however, are meant only for those who do not subscribe to a pay-television service.
The Nielsen Co. estimates that 14.3 million households, or about 13 per cent of the 112.8 million total television households in the U.S., rely on over-the-air television broadcasts for programming.