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Millions claim DTV converter coupons

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 10 Apr 2008 0:29 User comments (8)

Millions claim DTV converter coupons With the switch to all digital television broadcasts in the United States just over ten months away, about 5.3 million U.S. households have taken advantage of the Government's discount coupons for digital TV converter boxes. For homes in the U.S. that rely on over-the-air analog broadcasts, the DTV switch literally means black-out unless a converter box is used.
According to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), about 10 million coupons have been requested since the program began at the start of the year. Each coupon is worth $40 (on the purchase price of a box, priced around $60), and each household is entitles to a maximum of two coupons.

While demand is certainly outpacing supply, officials are worried that a large amount of people are still completely unaware of the DTV switch approaching. "We're doing a pretty good job so far," Meredith A. Baker, head of the telecommunications agency, said at a Senate hearing. "We have a lot more work to be done."

As of Friday, 280,128 coupons had been redeemed as consumers wait for stocks to hit the large retailers like Wal-Mart and Best Buy. It is estimated that about 20 million homes rely on over-the-air signals, and 70 million televisions could need converter boxes.

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8 user comments

110.4.2008 19:48

Quote:
"We're doing a pretty good job so far,"
pretty good job failing to inform the affected of their options?
the only people i know who seem to understand the dtv switch
are those who remain unaffected, such as cable/satellite subscribers.
one of the few people i know who are affected knew about the swittch,
but thought the only option they had was to buy an hdtv.

this shouldn't be happening at all, but it is;
therefore these organizations should do a better job of informing the affected.
these groups should also have been charged with creating hardware lists
detailing which converters qualify and what retailers sell them at what price.
they honestly should have went the extra mile and made a list of which
tv's were made in the last few years with digital tuners built in.


walmart sells magnavox converters for $49.87, but their site says they're not selling them online.
http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=8283870
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 10 Apr 2008 @ 19:51

210.4.2008 19:57

What this tells us is that so far 5.3 million US households are not buying a new HD TV for the forseeable future.

311.4.2008 10:52

Those 5.3 million people/households are the ones that can't afford a new HDTV or don't care. Because the ONLY real reason for a HDTV is sports! Who really likes seeing the news,game shows,sitcoms,and talk shows in HD? Granted ooooh they look "clearer" or nicer. Whatever you want to call it. But who really wants to see some of these people in a closeup in HD.

411.4.2008 21:13

Originally posted by defgod:
Those 5.3 million people/households are the ones that can't afford a new HDTV or don't care. Because the ONLY real reason for a HDTV is sports!
i agree with the first part whole-heartedly.
as for the second part, it makes sense that most would be more interested in sports;
however, games are the only reason i bought an hdtv.
don't watch sports and can only think of one thing on tv i'd want to see in hd:
battlestar galactica. =)
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 11 Apr 2008 @ 21:14

512.4.2008 5:09

Yea I forgot about gaming. Mostly because I don't do as much as I used to. And BSG would look stunning on a HDTV. But that's mostly for the VFX.

612.4.2008 15:58

will have to apply for one myself soon, is the gov. limiting us to one coupon does anybody know?

712.4.2008 17:43

Originally posted by FredBun:
will have to apply for one myself soon, is the gov. limiting us to one coupon does anybody know?
Quote:
...each household is entitles to a maximum of two coupons.

812.4.2008 17:45

It's two coupons per household. I already received mine. They are in credit/debit card format. They can only be used once and for a DTV converter box. You also only have 90 days to redeem them. But supposedly there are talks to extend it much longer. I believe that's mostly because of the different styles/types of converter boxes won't be available everywhere right away. Also the closer to the transition the more boxes will be certified for the coupons.

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