The federal government’s digital-to-analog converter subsidy program is reaching its sunset. This Friday--July 31--is the last day to apply for the $40 coupons to be used towards the purchase of 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 a maximum of 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.