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Get Your Converter Box Coupons

by December 31, 2007
Samsungs DTB-H260F Digital Tuner

Samsung's DTB-H260F Digital Tuner

Are you still living in the dark ages of analogue?  Is your standard def TV doing just fine?  Does your music come on 8-track or vinyl?  Wait, scratch that... well, not the vinyls...  If so, then you might want to get a coupon or two from the friendly US government so you can buy a digital-to-analogue converter box for you non-digital TV.

Starting on January 1st, 2008, you'll be able to request up to two coupons worth $40 each to purchase a new digital TV tuner from one of your local big box retailers (Best Buy, Target, Wal-Mart, etc...)  Of course, the coupons won't be sent out until mid-February of this year, and you still have until Feb 17th, 2009 to actually buy the boxes for the older TVs.  There are very few converter boxes on the market right now, and we hope that there will be a better selection available in the next 6 months or so.

What's so special about Feb, 17th, 2009?  That's the day that the analog over-the-air broadcasts get turned off.  This date doesn't apply to analogue broadcasts over cable, and satellite dish boxes are already digital.  Hopefully you are already considering upgrading your TVs, as the new HD material makes for some fantastic viewing.  But, there is still some life left in that SD TV, and assuming you still use an antenna, the new tuner boxes will keep your viewing options open.  Of, if you are like me, you'll probably just turn that 27" TV into an arcade machine, but still buy a converter box for it, just in case.  :-)

So what will the converter boxes do? According to the NTIA proposal, the converter box shall:

  • (a) appropriately processes all ATSC radio frequency (RF) signals provided to the antenna-only input and then provides output signals in standard definition video for display on an NTSC television receiver/monitor;
  • (b) delivers NTSC composite video and stereo audio to drive NTSC monitors;
  • (c) delivers Channel 3 or 4 switchable (NTSC) RF output for television receivers;
  • (d) complies with FCC requirements for Closed Captioned, Emergency Alert System (EAS) and the required parental controls;
  • (e) operable by and includes a remote control; and
  • (f) tunes to all television channels 2-69.

With this said, these boxes will NOT qualify if they are combined with other technologies, utilize component or HDMI outputs, or perform and digital audio conversion. The government wants to make sure it is only paying for the bare minimum to supply people who are using analogue antennas with a viable alternative to continue to receive free television.

For more information, or to sign up for coupons, please visit www.dtv2009.gov or call 1-888-DTV-2009.

About the author:

Jim Robbins is, by profession, a computer programmer. His technology interests started back in 1989, when he became SysOp of his High School's BBS (anyone remember those?). Of course, as most intelligent and geeky high school students, he also loved video games. Those video games were a force driving him into self discovery as an audioholic!

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Recent Forum Posts:

mtrycrafts posts on January 01, 2008 16:36
admin, post: 350491
Are you still living in the dark ages of analogue? Is your standard def TV doing just fine? Does your music come on 8-track or vinyl? Wait, scratch that… well, not the vinyls… If so, then you might want to get a coupon or two from the friendly US government so you can buy a digital-to-analogue converter box for you non-digital TV.


Discuss “Get Your Cable Converter Box Coupons” here. Read the article.

Where do I get a coupon for the increased monthly rates?
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