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Old 01-03-2008, 03:10 PM #1
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Default Way Off-Topic: Get your gov coupon for TVs w/ rabbit ears

Hi,

On Jan 1, the US government started giving out coupons for people to buy a converter for their televisions. In Feb 2009 all TV broadcasts will be digital.

If you have cable or satellite or whatnot, your service provider is supposed to give you a converter.

If you have rabbit ears like I do, you have to buy your own converter. The gov coupon is worth 40.00. But I don't know if the stores are actually carrying the converters yet -- I haven't called around to check.

http://tech.yahoo.com/news/ap/200801..._pe/digital_tv
Quote:
. . . Beginning Feb. 18, 2009, anyone who does not own a digital set and still gets their programming via over-the-air antennas will no longer receive a picture.

That's the day the television industry completes its transition from old-style analog broadcasting to digital.

The converter boxes are expected to cost between $50 and $70 and will be available at most major electronics retail stores.

Starting Tuesday, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration will begin accepting requests for two $40 coupons per household to be used toward the purchase of the boxes.

Viewers who have satellite or cable service will not need a box.

To request a coupon, consumers can apply online at http://www.dtv2009.gov starting Tuesday. The government also has set up a 24-hour hotline to take requests, 1-888-DTV-2009 (1-888-388-2009).

Congress, in ordering the transition to digital broadcasting, set aside $1.5 billion for the coupon program, which will fund 33.5 million coupons and other costs.

The giveaway basically works under the honor system.

The first 22 million coupons will go to all households that request them. That includes a residence that gets cable service for one television but has a spare TV that still uses an antenna, for example.

some history:
http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php...ns_Act_of_1996


=-=-=-=-=-=-
Addition:

I just called the phone number and gave my info to a voice recognition system.
The voice says that I will get two coupons in mid to late February 2008.
The convertors will be available in certain stores in mid to late February as well.

Here is the gov web site -- http://www.dtv.gov/consumercorner.html#faq4

Last edited by Mari; 01-03-2008 at 03:34 PM.
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Old 01-03-2008, 05:28 PM #2
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Confused

Per usual I am confused.

Ok, I have cable, so therefore they will give me a converter, I bet there will be a charge too.

Now people that don't have cable and have to buy this coverter box, will now have digital TV, so what is the difference between digital cable and digital TV?

Sorry, just not with it.

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Old 01-03-2008, 05:38 PM #3
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It's very confusing! We also have cable but will need a box for all the TV's in the house...one box doesn't get it!
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Old 01-03-2008, 05:41 PM #4
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I also called for the coupons.


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Old 01-03-2008, 06:24 PM #5
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I read more and I think I understand it now.

I assume eventually we will all need to have HDTV, as to buy new TV's in the future after 2009 at some point.

Ahhhhhhhhh always something.

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Old 01-03-2008, 07:20 PM #6
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Hi, Nikko,

We don't have to buy new televisions if we have analog. (And some of us already have the right kind of tv -- but I can't figure how a person knows that.)
The convertor boxes will take care of converting the digital signal to our analog televisions.

The cable companies are not effected by the law exactly the way that the broad cast stations are. So each cable company will be handling this differently.



Here is what the gov page says about cable:


Quote:
My cable operator offers a digital cable package. Is this the same as HDTV?

No. “Digital cable” and high definition programming on cable are not the same. If you want to watch HDTV programming on cable, you will need to subscribe to your cable provider’s HDTV package and view the programming on an HDTV set.

You may also need a set-top box or other equipment to view HDTV programming. Check with your cable provider to find out what kinds of programming you can receive, and what equipment you need to receive it.



Do cable TV networks, like CNN, MSNBC, Lifetime, etc., have to switch to digital broadcasting as well?

No. The current requirement to switch from analog to digital only applies to full-power broadcast TV stations, which use the public airwaves to provide free over-the-air programming.

However, as cable providers convert to digital transmissions over their systems, you may need to subscribe to their digital tier to continue to receive this non-broadcast programming.
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Old 01-03-2008, 07:24 PM #7
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Thank you, Mari..........for taking the time to explain it better to me. I appreciate it.

I have trouble concentrating and focusing lately.


Lots of HugsNikko
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Old 01-03-2008, 07:31 PM #8
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Nikko,
No problem at all.
I'm having a hard time understanding this too. It's ok.

Here is what Comcast says on one of their sites:

http://www.comcast.com/Customers/FAQ...ls.ashx?Id=102
Quote:
Is Digital Cable the same thing as High-Definition Television (HDTV)?

No. HDTV refers to a specific kind of digital signal format that requires a special television set. Digital Cable works with the cable already wired to your existing television therefore does not require a special type of television set.
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Old 01-03-2008, 08:05 PM #9
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It sounds like you only need to request the coupons if you use any kind of antenna to get TV channels.

If you have satellite or cable TV for all of your TVs you should be OK.
your provider will provide it if anything is needed.


[The first 22 million coupons will go to all households that request them. That includes a residence that gets cable service for one television but has a spare TV that still uses an antenna, for example.

The rest of the coupons, however, are meant only for those who do not subscribe to a pay-television service.

The Nielsen Co. estimates that 14.3 million households, or about 13 percent of the 112.8 million total television households in the nation, rely on over-the-air television broadcasts for programming.]

Congress ordered the transition to digital broadcasting to make more efficient use of the publicly owned airwaves.
http://tech.yahoo.com/news/ap/200801..._pe/digital_tv

and more info
http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/digitaltv.html
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Old 01-03-2008, 08:25 PM #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mari View Post
Hi, Nikko,

We don't have to buy new televisions if we have analog. (And some of us already have the right kind of tv -- but I can't figure how a person knows that.)
The convertor boxes will take care of converting the digital signal to our analog televisions.

The cable companies are not effected by the law exactly the way that the broad cast stations are. So each cable company will be handling this differently.



Here is what the gov page says about cable:
i think the tv's that are hd ready have it on the front. little letters hdtv. ours does.
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