Lucky Washington gets to be the first U.S. city to receive free mobile digital TV for laptops, cell phones, handhelds and in-car entertainment systems. The first broadcasts will be like those beamed to TVs, including advertising. The target date is set for late summer and will consist of CBS, NBC, PBS, Ion and Fox. Mobile DTV will be available to about 2 dozen other cities by the end of the year, to include New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Boston and Atlanta.
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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.
Read More | Reuters
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