Lothar's transition to digital tv

Dec 05 2008

By now you have more than likely heard that February 17, 2009 all analog OTA tv transmissions in the US will cease and become digital transmissions.  In order to use them with your older analog TVs (or analog TV tuners as the case may be) a new converter box is needed.  In order to help out, the US government is subsidising purchase of these units by $40.  Today I am blogging about my experience in acquiring the rebate card, soon to be followed by acquiring, setting up and using the DTV converter bot itself.

As I mentioned already, the government is subsidizing the purchase of up to two digital converter boxes.  Here is an excerpt from www.dtv.gov:

Between Jan. 1, 2008, and March 31, 2009, all U.S. households will be eligible to request up to two coupons, worth $40 each, to be used toward the purchase of up to two, digital-to-analog converter boxes. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has responsibility for administering the coupon program. (Please note that these coupons will expire 90 days after mailing). More information can be found at www.DTV2009.gov.

So, I decided that since the changeover is only a little over two months away it was time that I get up off my rear end and order a couple of rebate cards.  In order to do that, you need to head over to www.DTV2009.gov and fill out the application.  The application is very simple to complete; on the right side of the main page, click on the section that says (1) Apply for a coupon then fill out the four sections.  You need to give them a name and address, whether or not you get all of your tv OTA (this does not affect your eligibility as far as I can tell), how many coupons you are requesting (one or two), and check the box verifying that everything is correct.  Then just enter in the anti-spam text and click submit.  A few weeks later you will receive a card in the mail.  I applied for mine on 11/12/08 which fell into the batch mailed on 11/28/08 and received it on 12/05/08.  It was all very easy to do.  There is no reason why you can't order your own as well.

The next step is to choose a converter box and order that.  If you have any input or recommendations of what works and what doesn't please leave word in the comments section.  There are a number of options to choose from spread over a wide price range so I could use your help in narrowing it down.  The coupon is good for 90 days but I'd like to already have a couple months use of it by then.

Thanks for reading this and please share your experiences with this as well!

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