DTV Update From NAB

The NAB partnered with a coalition of more than 34,000 African American churches to get out the message about the DTV transition. The National Black Church Initiative members agreed to pass out 2.5 million flyers about the transition, and the federally subsidized converter-box coupon program. The churches are also training volunteers to assist the elderly, homebound and disabled in filling out coupon forms and installing converter boxes. The effort is expected to reach around 8 million people in more than 40 cities.

The NAB also noted that the FCC“s new transition notification rules went into effect May 30. Consumer electronics manufacturers are required under the rules to provide information about the analog shut-down with TV sets, set-top boxes and other television devices. Telecom carriers are also supposed to provide the information for low-income customers in their billing notices.

The latest figures for the coupon program were included in the NAB missive. According to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, the agency in charge of the program (as of May 28):
More than 8 million approved households have applied forâ?¦
More than 15 million coupons
Nearly 14 million have been mailed
More than 2.4 million have been redeemed
More than 183,000 have already expired (coupons are good for three months)
Daily orders average nearly 104,000
More than 1,700 retailers are offering approved converter boxes at some 19,000 locations.

The total number of approved converters boxes stands at 87, of those, 21 can pass through analog signals. Analog pass-through is necessary for continued reception of signals from translators and low-power TV stations, which were not covered by the DTV transition mandate.