AfterDawn: Tech news

Vouchers for DTV converter boxes now available from the U.S. government

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 03 Jan 2008 17:41 User comments (22)

Vouchers for DTV converter boxes now available from the U.S. government On Tuesday the first vouchers for converter boxes that make it possible for owners of analog TVs to watch Digital TV (DTV) became available from the U.S. government. The vouchers are intended for people who watch Over The Air (OTA) broadcasts. There's a limit of two vouchers per household.
The vouchers are good for up to $40 towards the purchase of a converter box, which aren't necessary for anyone watching either cable or satellite television. The boxes are expected to retail for between $50 and $70.

Of the available vouchers, the first 22 million are available both to U.S. residents who only receive OTA broadcasts and those who have cable or satellite service, but also receive OTA broadcasts on at least on analog TV in their household. The other 11.5 million are reserved for households where only OTA broadcasts are being viewed. Households with cable or satellite service are Limited to just a single voucher.

Based on numbers from the Nielsen Company there are 14.3 million households in the U.S. who currently don't subscribe to any pay TV service.

To apply for the vouchers you can either visit the program's website or call 1-888-388-2009.

Source: The Washington Post

More news

Previous Next

Related news

 

22 user comments

14.1.2008 7:46

so the voucher is for $40, but the boxes run between $50-$70? I thought it was supposed to be free.

24.1.2008 11:27

Did you actually trust/believe what the Government told you?

Anyway, if don't want the discount or don't need a voucher - don't get one.

34.1.2008 12:01

how do i know if my tv is analog

44.1.2008 12:27

Best way is to check your inputs. If they are RCA or coax, you are probably analog.

54.1.2008 12:29

Finally we are hearing of a price that these things are going to cost before the use of the vouchers. Atleast those that need to use these are still paying less than half or more of the original cost.

I would have been pissed if they would have priced them so high that the use of the vouchers wouldn't have done any good.

64.1.2008 12:39

Oh Poop. :-(

Nothing like a freebie discount coupon that I can't take advantage of.

Since I live in Canada, I guess I don't qualify for the US-Gov'mint coupon. I hope the boys here in Ottawa (Canadian Gov'mint) will come up with a similar offer - not that it matters because I'm going to get one of these boxes anyway. Just a little over a year now, and analogue OTA broadcasts will be a thing of the past.

Here in Canada, I believe the Government is going to auction-off the broadcast space (bandwidth) that the analogue signals now use, to the highest bidder.

Quote:
so the voucher is for $40, but the boxes run between $50-$70? I thought it was supposed to be free.
Good heavens! Why should they (anyone) simply hand out totally FREE electronic boxes to just anyone who wants/needs one? It costs money to make these things and they will breathe new-and-extended life into yours and 5 billon-trillion-gazillion other analogue tv sets for the forseeable future. Besides, the converter boxes are cheap even without the coupon.

(You'll want to buy a digital tv set anyway) if only for the wide screen (16:9), and so that you won't be stuck with those annoying black bars on your analog set.

Quote:
how do i know if my tv is analog
You have an analogue set, tucker001, believe me - you do. :-)

74.1.2008 15:26

I could care less. I just figured that was the case from this article that I read on AD a while back.

http://www.afterdawn.com/news/archive/11419.cfm]

"Korean based LG has become the first company to be certified by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to offer set-top digital to analog converter boxes that are redeemable with the government issued coupons."

I took that as meaning free.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 04 Jan 2008 @ 15:26

84.1.2008 16:44

my tv is a goldstar that is about 12 yrs old and has rca inputs


Kindle Fire 1st Gen running Jelly Bean
Nexus S 4G running 4.1.1 Jelly Bean
PS3 Slim 3000 Model 4.3.1
PS3 ID: killbarney1123

94.1.2008 17:40

Well, I signed-up for my voucher... pretty easy Web-form. I have cable, but you never know when a free (or nearly free) converter will come in handy. Or, I can sell it!

Nobody can predict the price. It depends on supply & demand. If production costs are low enough and there is plenty of supply, the retailers will be fighting for their share of this government handout and they will price them at exactly $40 USD. I doubt that they will be priced any lower than $40.

In general, subsidies tend to push-up the price, because demand is increased when more-buyers have more-money to spend*. I will be adding to this problem, since I've requested a voucher and I don't really need one at the moment. If supply is limited, the seller can easily increase the price, since the government is paying the first $40.


* American college tuition is a great example of this. Most students get government grants & loans to attend college. This allows universities to charge huge tuitions that increase faster than the overall inflation rate.

104.1.2008 17:50

Quote:
The vouchers are good for up to $40 towards the purchase of a converter box, which aren't necessary for anyone watching either cable or satellite television. The boxes are expected to retail for between $50 and $70.
Thats not that bad. I first thought $40 is not much but after seeing how much they go for it is well ok.

114.1.2008 22:43

Quote:
... "that are redeemable with the government issued coupons."
I took that as meaning free
OK, gotcha. (I understand).

There are a lifetime and world-full of analogue tv sets out there - up until 'recent' times, it's all we've ever known. With the years'-delayed but (now genuine) advent of digital broadcasting and digital sets now widely available (both HD-capable and non-HD), it's no wonder that the big box stores like Walmart and Best Buy (and even our local grocery supermarket) now sell analogue tv sets more cheaply than ever before in tv's history. They're practically 'giveaways'.

These new set top converter boxes will let you use any of these traditional tv sets well into the future, and also give the Walmarts and Best Buys of the world a reason to keep offering inexpensive analogue sets, for a while yet anyway.

Can't wait to get a "real" digital set though. :-)

It's going to be a bit rough on my set-top Pioneer DVD-recorder though, when analogue broadcasts cease. The Pioneer only has a built-in analogue tuner. (The same situation exists for those still using traditional VCR's as well). But at least - with the converter box I should be able to pipe-in a composite or S-Video signal.

In fact, I expect Walmart will be selling the converter boxes and analogue tv-sets side-by-side. :-)

124.1.2008 22:46

Quote:
my tv is a goldstar that is about 12 yrs old and has rca inputs

Yep, it's analogue, tucker.

135.1.2008 10:13

Originally posted by tucker001:
my tv is a goldstar that is about 12 yrs old and has rca inputs
One of my tv's is a 16 year old RCA that doesn't even have RCA's...it's coax. He he. It's keeps going so i don't have the heart to get rid of it yet.

145.1.2008 11:36

It's like the Chronicles of Riddick DVD. CONVERT or DIE!

156.1.2008 0:11
cousinkix
Inactive

Quote:
Here in Canada, I believe the Government is going to auction-off the broadcast space (bandwidth) that the analogue signals now use, to the highest bidder.
The 800 mhz car phone band is compromised of what used to be UHF TV channels 80-83. The new 760-806 mhz police and mobile radio services are taking over old TV channels too.

US broadcasters have multiple channels in that wide spectrum of old analog channels. Our local PBS station has three seperate programs running at once. The CBS and NBC affiliates have both analog and digital versions of their programming...

166.1.2008 17:17

Where can one purchase a coupon approved Dtv converter box in
los angeles, california 90301, today?

how much will it cost with a government coupon? ***email removed***

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 07 Jan 2008 @ 7:55

176.1.2008 23:04

Did you not read the article?



186.1.2008 23:11

Originally posted by 7thsinger:
Did you not read the article?
7thsinger bro, I guess the answer was NO.

"The flimsier the product,the higher the price"
Ferengi 82nd rule of aqusition


196.1.2008 23:27

Originally posted by candymanw:
Where can one purchase a coupon approved Dtv converter box in
los angeles, california 90301, today?

how much will it cost with a government coupon? candymanw@yahoo.com
Oh, and you should probably remove thy email from your post.


207.1.2008 7:56

candymanw, no email addresses per forum rules.



2114.1.2008 14:30

Quote:
US broadcasters have multiple channels in that wide spectrum of old analog channels. Our local PBS station has three seperate programs running at once. The CBS and NBC affiliates have both analog and digital versions of their programming...
cousinkix - I wonder when Canada will cease analogue broadcasting? I haven't heard any specific cut-off date mentioned, but I assume it would probably coincide pretty closely with the American agenda - we receive many US channels, of course, and I'm sure you receive a few of ours.

Here in Canada, the CBC routinely broadcasts it's NHL Hockey games in HD digital. I don't know if any of these are available as OTA (Over-The-Air) terrestrial broadcasts, or if a Satellite dish or cable box is still needed to receive them. I used to have Bell Express-Vu Satellite (but no longer), so I wouldn't know.

But from what I can gather, you can receive an OTA signal with practically nothing more than the proverbial "wire coathanger antenna" hooked up to the new converter-box, provided you live in a strong signal area, like major cities for example.

But when an OTA broadcast finally wends it's way over to my neck-of-the woods (Nova Scotia), I'll be happy to spring for a simple-but-effective converter box and antenna combo. They're both pretty cheap thingees, and would fill a gap for the time being.

(Yeah yeah, I know - I could just pick up a digital tv-set), but I'd rather spend my limited dollars right now on women, cheap booze and pizza. ;-)

2214.1.2008 14:51

Originally posted by Sazaziel:
It's like the Chronicles of Riddick DVD. CONVERT or DIE!
Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated into our digital collective.

But......but...... what am I gonna do with these three old Sears tv sets in the basement?

Irrelevant. Sears is irrevelant. That is not a proper response. Sears' tv-sets will be melted-down into i-Pods and Sony rootkits.

But, but ...... [gasp], my other Seven-Of-Nine (arf, arf) tv-sets are analogue as well!

Non-secular. You WILL comply.

Whew! (Of course, if 7-Of-9 cared to join me in my apartment for a Pizza and some beers, to watch some old Star Trek reruns, I could probably be persuaded to divvy-up for one of those converter boxes). :-)

Comments have been disabled for this article.

News archive