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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

March 24, 2009 at 2:59 PM

Feds re-open digital TV coupon spigot, $650 million on tap

The $40 coupons for digital TV converter boxes are available again, officials managing the program announced today.

After coupon funding ran out in January, Congress added $650 million to the federal stimulus plan for more in February.

Now the waiting list has been cleared and coupon applications are being accepted. Households that did not use their coupons before they expired can also reapply, according to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.

Coupons can be used only for converter boxes that allow older analog “rabbit ear” TVs to receive digital signals over the air. TV stations will must convert their broadcasts to digital by June 12, freeing up bandwidth the government has auctioned to telecom companies. All the major Seattle area stations are now broadcasting both digital and analog signals.

For more information about applying, here’s the official DTV site and here’s a visual primer on connecting the converter boxes that ran with a February column on the broadcast situation.

Comments | More in | Topics: coupons, digital converter, Digital TV

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