Got Rabbit Ears?
Find out what to do to continue viewing your favorite programming
As most of you know, February 17, 2009 is the date all free over the air broadcasters must turn off their analog signal and convert to digital. One local station, KFSM channel 5, has been broadcasting a digital signal since 2003 and they are fully prepared for change, but not all our their viewers are prepared. This link will help you with a few of the questions you might have.
There is also a great web site called www.DTVAnswers.com that you will find useful. Here are a few recent stats released by NAB (National Association of Broadcasters).
As you are well aware, NTIA launched the converter box coupon program on January 1, 2008, by phone at 1-888-DTV-2009 and online at www.DTV2009.gov. Here are some updates on the program:
- NTIA has received requests from 1.5 million households for 3,052,000 coupons. As there is sufficient funding for 33 million coupons, this is roughly ten percent of the total money allocated for coupons.
- The law allows open enrollment for the first 22.25 million coupons. After that, coupons are available for broadcast only households only.
- NTIA must apply to Congress for the remaining money.
- Demand for coupons has tapered off, but NTIA is still receiving roughly 10,000 applications per day.
- NTIA has certified 250 retailers, operating 15,000 stores. The operating assumption is that all of these retailers will begin taking coupons near the end of February.
- NTIA has certified 25 converter boxes.
- One box manufactured by Echostar will retail at $39.99. (Consumers do not get the balance of the coupon, and must pay all sales tax out of pocket).
HELP IS HERE: Visit www.DTV2009.gov to receive your $40 coupons for your converter boxes. You may already have an HD-TV but someone like your grandparents, aunts, uncle, etc, may not. The coupon will help them to receive their favorite channels with the converter box.