The conversion to digital TV is less than 2 months away, so if you stashed your coupons in a drawer somewhere, they have probably expired. Apparently there is a last minute rush as the Department of Commerce says there are simply not enough available. They are hoping that Congress will allow additional funding.
“Once the obligation ceiling is reached, the program will hold coupon requests until funds from unredeemed coupons become available,” said Meredith Attwell Baker, acting asst. secretary for Communications and Information at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. There are about 60 models out there to choose from, but without the coupon, you will pay between $40.00 and $90.00.
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In a survey done recently by ABI Research, the results showed that when the dreaded digital change occurs in February, 70% will attach a digital converter. As for the rest of the participants, 10% say they will switch to cable or satellite service, and 20% will just let their TVs “go dark.” Analyst Steve Wilson says the the data suggests that there will be some overall terrestrial viewers who will use other venues for entertainment such as broadband video, DVD rentals, or other online alternatives.
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Wilmington, North Carolina volunteered to be the very first U.S. market to change to digital-only television broadcasting. While the rest of us have to wait until February, the lucky city’s Mayor Bill Saffo and FCC’s Michael Copps pulled a pseudo switch to mark the event. More than 69,000 coupons for 37,500 households in the Wilmington market were requested. Those who didn’t purchase the ATCS tuners will see a crawl at the bottom of their screen with a toll-free number to get with the plan.
Mayor Saffo said, “If nobody calls, it doesn’t mean there wasn’t a problem. And if a thousand people call it doesn’t mean this wasn’t a success. Because success is ultimately going to be measured by what we’ve learned and can put in place to do next February.”
Read More | ABC News