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Friday is Final Day to Get a DTV Converter Coupon

WASHINGTON: The federal government’s digital-to-analog converter subsidy program is reaching its sunset. Friday is the last day to apply for the $40 coupons good for certified DTV converter set-top boxes. The program, administered by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, has shelled out more than $1.5 billion for coupons so far. As of July 22, 34.4 million households were approved for up to two coupons each, and more than 63 million had been mailed. Of those, 25 million expired and 33.6 million had been redeemed.

Another 4.4 million coupons remained active--far more than the most recent estimate of households with no TV reception whatsoever. Nielsen estimated that as of mid-July around 1.5 million homes remained TV free after the June 12 transition to all-digital broadcasting.
-- Deborah D. McAdams

July 21, 2009: “LG’s DTV Hotline Gets 20,000 Calls in June”
LG’s operators took more than 88,000 calls during the first six months of the year.

July 16, 2009: “TV-less Households Now Total 1.5 Million”
Nielsen said today that 200,000 homes have upgraded to digital television in the last two weeks… leaving 1.5 million American households unable to receive DTV signals through the week ending July 12.

June 24, 2009: “U.S. Households With No TV Now Number 2.1 Million
Around 400,000 U.S. households have made the transition to digital television since analog signals were shut down June 12. The number comes down from Nielsen, which said as of June 21 around 2.1 million homes in the nation--1.8 percent of all TV households--still had no TV reception.

June 16, 2009: “Retailers Inundated by DTV Callers
“I’m up to my neck and totally frustrated,” Raymond Haley, owner of Haley’s Television Sales and Service, told the Danville News. “It’s been a hectic thing the last two or three days since they shut it off. Most of it is they don’t get certain channels they’ve been used to getting, and that gets them totally confused.”