Need a DTV-to-Analog Converter-Box Coupon? Ask Sen. StevensSenate Commerce Committee Vice Chairman and Ranking Member Making Application Forms Available at Office, via Web Site 1/09/2008 01:44:00 AM Eastern
Stevens, vice chairman and ranking member of the Senate Commerce Committee, said Wednesday that he would make the forms available at all of his offices and via his Web site.
Stevens -- whose sprawling and mostly rural state relies heavily on over-the-air TV to bridge those wide-open spaces -- added that "having access to digital converter boxes will be the key to a smooth digital transition."
All full-power TV stations are required to pull the plug on analog broadcasts as of Feb. 17, 2009, and over-the-air-only households with analog sets will need converter boxes to continue to receive TV pictures.
The U.S. government is supplying households up to two $40 coupons apiece to defray the cost of qualified boxes. Most are expected to sell for $50-$70, although EchoStar Communications said it will have a $40 box on the shelves by the end of the next quarter.
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration, which is overseeing the subsidy, began accepting coupon-application forms Jan. 1, which can be obtained at a variety of places, including Post Offices and libraries, then mailed or faxed to the NTIA. Requests for coupons can also be made online or over the phone (1-888-388-2009) without the forms.