DTV Coupons: Get 'Em While They're Hot

Dingell issues alert; last requests to be applied for by July 31

Former House Commerce Committee Chairman John Dingell (D-Mich.) issued an alert Thursday telling everyone who has not yet taken advantage of the DTV-to-analog converter box to get on the stick.

The last request for the $40 coupons--up to two per household--must be postmarked, or called for or applied for online, by midnight EST on July 31.

"Congress established the coupon program to help American families transition to digital television. I encourage everyone who has not already done so to take advantage of the program before it ends on Friday," said Dingell in an e-mail. Dingell presided over the committee, which had principal oversight over the DTV transition, during the run-up to the switch-over before turning the gavel over to Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) in the latest session of Congress.

The nation's full-power TV stations transitioned to all-digital June 12, with the analog nightlight stations pulling their plugs 30 days after that.

According to Nielsen's most recent figures, only 1.1% of homes were unready for digital as of July 26, down from 1.3% two weeks before. Unready means no DTV set, no converter hooked up, and no cable or satellite subscription.