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Misc. News : Consumer Affair Last Updated: Apr 20, 2011 - 9:38:09 AM


DTV Transition and the Coupon Program
By dtv2009.gov
Jan 23, 2009 - 1:27:03 PM

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December 30, 2008
What You Need to Know About the DTV Transition

Brightly lit television screens
Currently, many over-the-air stations are broadcasting in both analog and digital TV (DTV) formats. After February 17, 2009, full–power TV stations will broadcast only in digital. The DTV transition will affect those who watch free over-the-air television (through a rooftop antenna or “rabbit ears”). If you watch over-the-air programs on an analog TV, you must take action before February 17, 2009.

You have three choices:

1) Connect your analog TV to a digital-to-analog converter box. Digital-to-analog converter boxes are in stores and have a one-time cost of $40-$70. To help you pay for the boxes, the U.S. Government is offering two $40 coupons per household. (Please note that these coupons will expire 90 days after mailing). For more information on the coupons, visit www.DTV2009.gov, or call 1-888-388-2009 (voice) or 1-877-530-2634 (TTY). Plus, you should not need a new antenna if you get good quality reception on analog channels 2-51 with your existing antenna.

2) Buy a digital television (a TV with a built-in digital tuner). You do not digital TV (or an analog TV connected to a digital-to-analog converter box). Plus, you should not need a new antenna if you get good quality reception on analog channels 2-51 with your existing antenna.

3) Subscribe to a paid TV service. If your TV set receives local broadcast stations through a paid provider such as cable or satellite TV, it is already prepared for the DTV transition. Cable companies are not required to transition or switch any of their channels to digital. However, if you have an analog TV that does not receive local broadcast stations through your paid provider, you will need a digital-to-analog converter box to watch digital broadcasts on that TV.

For More Information:
1-888-CALL-FCC (Voice)
DTV.gov
1-888-TELL-FCC (TTY)
need a High Definition TV (HDTV) to watch digital broadcast television. You only need a

DTV Transition and the Coupon Program
What is the digital television transition?
At midnight on February 17, 2009, all full-power television stations in the United States will stop broadcasting in analog and switch to 100% digital broadcasting. Digital broadcasting promises to provide a clearer picture and more programming options and will free up airwaves for use by emergency responders.

What is the TV Converter Box Coupon Program?
Congress created the TV Converter Box Coupon Program for households wishing to keep using their analog TV sets after February 17, 2009. The Program allows U.S. households to obtain up to two coupons, each worth $40, that can be applied toward the cost of eligible converter boxes.

A TV connected to cable, satellite or other pay TV service does not require a TV converter box from this program.

Consumers have a variety of options. Options to explore include:
  1. Keep your existing analog TV and purchase a TV converter box. A converter box plugs into your TV and will keep it working after Feb. 17, 2009, or
  2. Connect to cable, satellite or other pay service, or
  3. Purchase a television with a digital tuner.


What are my options?

How do I request a coupon?
Between January 1, 2008 and March 31, 2009, you can request a coupon while supplies last in one of four ways:
  • Apply online
  • Call the Coupon Program toll-free 24-hour automated system 1-888-DTV-2009 (1-888-388-2009).
  • Mail a coupon application to: PO BOX 2000, Portland, OR 97208-2000. Download a Coupon Application here.
  • Fax a coupon application to 1-877-DTV-4ME2 (1-877-388-4632)
  • Deaf or hard of hearing callers may dial 1-877-530-2634 (English/TTY) or 1-866-495-1161 (Spanish/TTY). TTY Service is available from 9 AM - 9 PM Eastern Time Monday through Friday.

Will the transition affect me?
You will need to take action before February 17, 2009 if you currently watch TV on an analog TV set that is not connected to cable, satellite or other pay TV service. If you own a television with a digital tuner or subscribe to a pay TV service, you will likely continue to receive TV programming as usual after the transition.

If you’re still unsure, answer these questions and we’ll let you know if you need a converter box.
Question 1.

Do you have a TV set in your household receiving broadcasts using an antenna, such as "rabbit ears" or a rooftop antenna?

If you think you need a converter box, click here to apply for a coupon.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
To view the Federal Trade Commission's Guide for Consumers click here.

For a list of important terms related to the Digital Transition and the Coupon Program and their definitions, click here.

l
 
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At midnight on February 17, 2009, all full-power television stations in the United States will stop broadcasting in analog and switch to 100% digital broadcasting. Digital broadcasting provides a clearer picture and more channels and will free up airwaves for use by emergency responders.

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Analog television sets receiving free TV using an antenna will not work after February 17, 2009. Television viewers with these sets that are not connected to a pay TV service need to take action now. Most consumers who purchase a converter box today can connect it to their existing television and begin enjoying the benefits of digital television immediately.
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Consumers have a variety of options. If you’re not sure what to do, take a quick quiz to help you figure out what to do at www.DTVTransition.org. Options to explore include:
  1. Keep your existing analog TV and purchase a TV converter box. A converter box plugs into your TV and will keep it working after Feb. 17, 2009, or
  2. Connect to cable, satellite or other pay service, or
  3. Purchase a television with a digital tuner.
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A TV converter box is a new product that plugs into your analog TV and, along with your antenna, will keep your analog set working after February 17, 2009. A TV converter box is a one-time purchase and usually costs between $40 and $70. A TV connected to cable, satellite or other pay TV service does not require a TV converter box from this program. For a list of TV converter boxes that can be purchased with $40 government coupons, please click here. Your coupons will also come with a list of nearby retailers—as well as online and telephone retailers—that you should keep and use to find a converter box.
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Congress created the TV Converter Box Coupon Program for households wishing to keep using their analog TV sets after February 17, 2009. The Program allows U.S. households to obtain up to two coupons, each worth $40, that can be applied toward the cost of eligible converter boxes.
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Consumers can apply now for up to two $40 coupons per household by applying online, by calling 1-888-DTV-2009 (1-888-388-2009), or by mailing their application to PO Box 2000, Portland, OR 97208-2000. Coupons will be mailed to eligible households and are good for 90 days from the date they are mailed. Since most stations are already transmitting digital broadcasts, consumers with older model televisions using an antenna to receive their free channels can connect the converter box and begin to enjoy the benefits of digital TV now.
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When the coupon is mailed to you, it will include an insert with a list of nearby participating retailers as well as online and telephone retailers. You can expect to buy TV converter boxes and use your coupons at retail stores where you would normally buy consumer electronics products. You can also click here to enter your zip code, and locate participating retailers on a map.
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Converter boxes plug into TV sets, either in the back or front, depending on your TV. You will still need your antenna, which works with the TV converter box. Each TV converter box will come with installation instructions from the manufacturer. You should be able to install the converter box using the instructions provided by the manufacturer. For specific questions, you should ask your retailer or call the manufacturer’s technical support hotline. A generic “Quick Start Guide” and installation video are available at www.DigitalTips.org (under the DTV/Video tab).
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Broadcasters are transitioning to digital to provide important benefits to consumers. Because digital broadcasting is more efficient, broadcasters require less of the airwaves to provide a better television viewing experience. Once the DTV transition is completed, some television channels will be turned over to fire and police departments for emergency communication and others are being auctioned to companies to provide new wireless services.
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The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, is operating the TV Converter Box Coupon Program at the direction of Congress.
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You will need to take action before February 17, 2009, if you currently watch TV on an analog TV set that is not connected to cable, satellite or other pay TV service. If you own a television with a digital tuner or subscribe to a pay TV service, you will not need a converter box from this Program.
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What you need to know is whether your TV set has something called a “digital tuner” already built in. If it does, your TV set will receive digital signals. The best way to determine whether your TV set has a digital tuner built in is to consult your owner’s manual. If that’s not possible, you may be able to look up information about your TV set on the manufacturer’s website. Or, you can take an up-close look at your TV set. In any case, you’re trying to find out if your set has an input connection labeled “digital input” or “ATSC” (for Advanced Television Systems Committee, which is the DTV format).

Here are some general guidelines that may help:

If you bought your TV set before 1998, it probably doesn’t have a digital tuner at all. Almost every TV set made before 1998 was a traditional “analog” set. If you bought a big-screen, projection TV between 1998 and 2004, it may have a built-in digital tuner inside. But chances aren’t great. Only a limited percentage of projection TV sets (and generally only those 42 inches in diameter or larger) included digital tuners before 2004.

If you purchased a new TV set since 2004, your chances of having a built-in digital tuner improve dramatically. Starting in 2004, many of the TV sets sold at popular electronics stores feature digital tuners. But it’s not a sure thing. Even some of the newer TV sets are purely display monitors that lack the internal circuitry needed to pick up digital broadcasts. Usually these sets have been advertised as “HD-ready” or “HDTV monitor” sets. That means they can display digital and high-definition signals, but they need help getting those signals in the first place. You’ll still need a special converter or a cable TV connection.

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TVs connected to cable, satellite or other pay TV service will not require a TV converter box from this program. Cable and satellite subscribers should check with their providers to see whether there are or will be any cable- or satellite-specific changes to their pay service.
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Translator and low-power television stations are not required to go all-digital after February 17, 2009. Viewers of these broadcast stations should contact their station for details. As these stations go digital, consumers will need to take action to continue to receive their free channels with an antenna. For a list of low-power stations in your area, or more information on low-power television, visit www.LPTVanswers.com.
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Analog television sets receiving free TV using an antenna will not work after February 17, 2009. Television viewers with these sets that are not connected to a pay TV service will need to take action before February 17, 2009, to ensure their TV sets continue to work. Consumers have a variety of options.

Options to explore include:
  1. Keeping your existing analog TV and purchasing a TV converter box. A converter box plugs into your TV and will keep it working after Feb. 17, 2009. It usually costs between $40 and $70, or
  2. Connect to cable, satellite or other pay service, or
  3. Purchase a television with a digital tuner.
If you’re not sure what to do, take a quick quiz to help you figure out your options at www.DTVTransition.org.

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The list of certified retailers is available here. Consumers will also receive a list of nearby participating retailers—as well as online and telephone retailers—when they receive their coupons.

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No, you will not need to dispose of your analog TV after February 17, 2009. If you receive your TV programs for free using an antenna—that is, your TV set is not connected to cable, satellite, or other pay TV service—you can purchase a TV converter box and plug it into your existing TV set to continue to receive TV programs after February 17, 2009. You can also use your existing television set and subscribe to a pay TV service, such as a cable or satellite provider.

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TVs connected to cable, satellite, or other pay services do not require a TV converter box from this program to receive programs after February 17, 2009. Check with your cable or satellite provider to determine how they will support your analog set after February 17, 2009. The Federal Communications Commission has issued two very helpful consumer advisories on the switch to digital for pay TV services at http://www.dtv.gov/publications.html.

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You should be able to receive digital television signals with your existing broadcast antenna. If after you have installed your converter box you are having reception problems using your existing antenna, you may want to contact either your local broadcaster or the retail store where you purchased the converter box. Troubleshooting advice can be found at www.antennaweb.org or via the Federal Communications Commission at www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/dtvantennas.html.

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TV converter boxes usually cost between $40 and $70. Each U.S. household may request up to two $40 coupons to help pay for the cost of converter boxes. After applying the coupon, participating retailers will charge consumers the remaining balance.

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TV converter boxes are available now at retailers where you would normally buy consumer electronics products. Before shopping for your converter box, you might want to call ahead to make sure retailers have converter boxes available.

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TV converter box models must meet technical and performance standards determined by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) in order to qualify for the Coupon Program. A list of eligible make and model numbers for purchase with the coupon can be found by clicking here.

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See a complete list of eligible TV converter boxes here. TV converter box features may vary depending on the brand; however all models will allow your analog TV to continue to operate after February 17, 2009. The best way to get information on individual converter boxes is to visit the manufacturer’s website—or ask a customer service specialist at a store that sells them. Comparisons of some converter box models are available online, including at www.ConsumerReports.org (search for “DTV converter box ratings”) and www.wikipedia.com (search for “Comparison of CECB units”).

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No, you should be able to install the converter box yourself using the instructions provided by the manufacturer. For specific questions, you should call the manufacturer’s technical support hotline or ask your retailer. The NTIA program does not provide technical support.

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Converter boxes are about the size of a paperback book. Most will fit on top of a small to medium TV set.

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No. Converter boxes from this program work only with over-the-air broadcast television signals, not cable or satellite service.

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Yes. Manufacturers of converters are required to provide Closed Captioning for display on your television.

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Generally not. If a battery-powered TV is part of your emergency preparedness plan, one solution is to purchase a battery-powered digital TV. If that is a problem, make sure you have a battery-powered radio. Radio stations also provide emergency information. In addition, a number of TV stations simulcast their broadcasts on local radio stations. Finally, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recommends the purchase of a NOAA Weather Radio, available at many electronic and department stores. Broadcasting 24/7, the NOAA Weather Radio provides continuous weather information, and alerts listeners immediately to life threatening local severe storm warnings, along with the latest hurricane advisories from the National Hurricane Center and the Hurricane Local Statements from the National Weather Service. For more information, see: http://www.srh.noaa.gov/mfl/radio.php.

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The analog equipment you currently use will continue to work with (output to) your analog TV set just as before, but they will not be able to receive over-the-air programming without the TV converter box. Attach the converter to your VCR, TiVo, DVD-R, etc. instead of hooking it directly to your TV.

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Consumers can begin enjoying the benefits of digital television today. Because most full-power stations are currently broadcasting both in digital and analog, viewers can plug in their converter boxes and generally receive a clearer picture and more channels, where they are available.

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No. Analog televisions are not capable of displaying High-Definition resolution, but the picture will generally be better with a TV converter box. If you want to view High-Definition TV, then you will need one of the newer sets rated for “High-Definition” resolution.

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No. Cable and other pay TV set-top boxes are not part of this Program. Coupons from this Program can only be used towards the purchase of TV converter boxes that work with TV sets receiving broadcast programming over the air via an antenna.

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Wilmington, North Carolina, is a test market to see how the transition to digital television works in a particular television coverage area in advance of February 17, 2009. Commercial broadcasters in this market are turning off their analog signals at noon on September 8, 2008. Viewers of over-the-air television in this market need to act now to ensure they do not lose television service on September 8, 2008.

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These brief tests allow TV viewers the opportunity to “diagnose” whether they need to take action to prevent their TVs from losing programming after February 17, 2009. For example, a local broadcast station might “pull the plug” on its analog transmission for a short interval to allow viewers to tune their TV sets into this channel to see whether they can receive the broadcast. If their TV sets do not pick up the program, then consumers would need to take the action necessary to ensure they can receive a signal before the transition date.

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You can apply for a coupon now through March 31, 2009, or while supplies last.

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Through March 31, 2009, or while supplies last, you can request a coupon in one of four ways:
  • Apply online
  • Call the Coupon Program toll-free 24-hour automated system 1-888-DTV-2009 (1-888-388-2009).
  • Mail a coupon application to: PO BOX 2000, Portland, OR 97208-2000. Download a Coupon Application here.
  • Fax a coupon application to 1-877-DTV-4ME2 (1-877-388-4632)
  • Deaf or hard of hearing callers may dial 1-877-530-2634 (English/TTY) or 1-866-495-1161 (Spanish/TTY). TTY Service is available from 9 AM - 9 PM Eastern Time Monday through Friday.

The contact center is accessible for hearing-impaired persons through a TTY service. The contact center and website can help answer questions you may have about obtaining and redeeming coupons, and checking the status of your coupon request.

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NTIA is working with its partners to make applications available in the places where it makes the most sense for each community. The easiest way to apply is to apply online. If you don’t have a computer, your local library probably has computer terminals for public use, or you can call 1-888-388-2009.

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Some retailers may offer coupon application forms at their stores. Retailers, however, cannot provide the coupons; consumers must request them from the Government. The decision to provide applications is up to each retailer. The easiest way to apply is to apply online, or you can call 1-888-388-2009.

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The date you receive your coupon(s) will depend on when you submitted your application. Click on this link to check the status of your request.

www.DTV2009.gov/CheckStatus.aspx. If you want to check the status of your specific application to see whether your coupon(s) has been mailed, you can enter your reference number, coupon ID or name and address on the appropriate form on the same Web page.

Note that coupons expire 90 days after they have been mailed. The expiration date is printed on the card. Coupons cannot be reissued if they expire or are lost or stolen.

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Coupons look like plastic credit cards or gift cards used widely in the retail industry. Unlike gift cards, TV converter box coupons will carry no stored value and can only be used towards the purchase of eligible TV converter boxes.

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Yes, but supplies are limited. There are 22.25 million coupons available to all U.S. households. Once those coupons have been used, there are an additional 11.25 million coupons available only to households that solely receive their TV broadcasts over-the-air using an antenna. Households with TVs connected to cable, satellite or other pay TV service are not eligible for this second batch of coupons. Consumers can apply for coupons until March 31, 2009, or until the funds are exhausted.

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Each household can request a maximum of two coupons. Each coupon may be applied towards the purchase of a single converter box. The coupons can be ordered one at a time or both at the same time.

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The TV converter box coupon application requires that you provide your name, household address, number of coupons requested (maximum of two) and whether you subscribe to cable, satellite or other pay television service.

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No. Your personal information is protected under privacy laws and will not be sold or used for other purposes other than administering the NTIA Coupon Program.

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Applicants must meet the Census definition of a household as consisting of “all persons who currently occupy a house, apartment, mobile home, group of rooms, or single room that is occupied as separate living quarters and has a separate U.S. postal address.” A household is defined as separate living quarters with a separate U.S. Postal address. This definition includes all households located in U.S. Territories.

On April 24, 2008, NTIA published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) and Request for Comment in the Federal Register that proposes to waive the “eligible household” and application requirements in section 47 C.F.R. § 301.3(e) for individuals residing in nursing homes or other senior care facilities, subject to alternative application requirements. The Agency is working expeditiously to complete this rulemaking.

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Yes. You can assist someone else to complete an application.



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The government can mail coupons to Post Office boxes in areas without home mail delivery. Post Office boxes will be accepted only for households on Indian reservations, Alaskan Native villages and other rural areas. The government may request additional information to validate the physical location of these households.

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Check the TV Converter Box Coupon Program material that comes with your coupons or click here to see a list of participating online retailers.

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No. The government will provide a list of coupon-eligible converter boxes and participating retailers here. You may also ask participating retailers whether TV converter boxes in their stores can be purchased with the $40 government coupon.

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No. Coupons will be electronically coded to be used only for purchases of coupon-eligible converter boxes.


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No. The TV Converter Box Coupon Program is not a rebate program. Coupons must be presented at the point of sale and must be redeemed at the time TV converter boxes are purchased.
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It is instantly deactivated and cannot be used again. Stores may keep them or you can throw them away. You should keep your receipt and a record of your coupon number in case you decide to exchange or return the converter box.
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No. Coupons cannot be reissued. If you have requested one coupon, you may be eligible to receive another. If both coupons have been lost or stolen, or you have requested both coupons, used one, and the other coupon is lost or stolen, by law we are unable to reissue coupon replacements. While it is illegal to sell coupons, giving a coupon for free to a family member, friend, or neighbor is not prohibited under Program regulations.
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No. Only one coupon can be used per coupon-eligible converter box.
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Yes. Coupons can be redeemed by anyone in your household. However, only two coupons can be issued per household regardless of the number of occupants or families.
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While it is illegal to sell coupons, giving a coupon for free to a family member, friend, or neighbor is not prohibited under Program regulations.
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No. The coupon has no cash value.
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No. It is illegal to sell, duplicate or tamper with the coupon.
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Retailers that are not participating in the Coupon Program will not be able to accept the coupons. Only retailers certified by the NTIA will accept the coupons. A list of certified retailers in your area can be found here.
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Coupons expire 90 days after they are mailed. Each coupon has an expiration date printed on it.
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Please allow three weeks after you applied before contacting us to check on the status of your application if you have not received your coupons. You can check the status of your request online at www.DTV2009.gov/CheckStatus.aspx.
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You will not be able to receive cash or credit for the coupon amount, but you can receive cash or credit for any amount you paid out of pocket, if the store policy permits returns or exchanges.
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If the retail store permits exchanges, you can exchange the converter you purchased for another coupon-eligible converter box.
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If a consumer requests only one coupon and it expires before it is used, then they can apply for a second coupon. Once two coupons have been issued to that household, the consumer will no longer be eligible to request any more coupons. Coupons expire 90 days after they are mailed.
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No. Coupons are only valid for eligible converter boxes. The intent of the program is to allow consumers to continue to view TV over-the-air on the same TV they used prior to the transition, not to enable upgrades in technology.
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No. The $40 coupon can only be used towards the price of an eligible TV converter box, excluding any sales tax.
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Yes, if the consumer is purchasing two TV converter boxes with two valid coupons.
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Coupons expire 90 days after they are mailed and will have the expiration date printed on the coupon. The last day to apply for coupons is March 31, 2009, or until supplies are exhausted.
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No, the coupon can only be used for the price of an eligible converter box. Consumers will not get change back. If the converter box is priced below $40, then consumers will only pay any applicable sales tax.
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The consumer may pay the difference with any other form of payment acceptable to the retailer. Two coupons may not be combined towards the purchase of a single converter box.
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Consumers may purchase as many converter boxes as they choose. However, a single coupon can only be used to purchase one coupon-eligible converter box. If the consumer decides to purchase additional converter boxes, they must pay the full cost.
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Yes. The amended regulation permits residents of state-licensed nursing homes, intermediate care facilities and assisted-living facilities to apply for and receive one $40 coupon, which may be redeemed toward the purchase of an NTIA-certified converter box. Applicants must use a special mail-in application, which is available (in English and Spanish) on the Coupon Program homepage (www.DTV2009.gov).
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NTIA has used established definitions to describe the facilities that are now eligible to receive one coupon for each resident who makes a valid request. Facilities must be licensed by the state and applicants may be asked to provide proof for eligibility purposes. See page 54333 of the regulations for definitions: http://www.ntia.doc.gov/frnotices/2008/Nursing_Home_PO_Box_Final_Rule.pdf.
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Residents or their caregivers must fill out the special application and mail it to P.O. Box 2530, Portland, OR 97208-2530. Consumers can download the special nursing home application or request an application by writing to us at P.O. Box 2530, Portland, OR 97208-2530. Please be sure to specify that you would like the nursing home application, not the regular application, used by household residents. Coupon applications from nursing home residents cannot be completed through the toll-free hotline or via the website.
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A caregiver or an administrator of a state-licensed facility may fill out an application on behalf of a resident who may need special assistance. The application provides instructions to administrators who wish to apply for more than one resident.
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Applicants who believe they have been denied in error can appeal the decision by providing proof, such as a copy of the facility’s state license, that the institution is a nursing home, an intermediate care facility or an assisted-living facility as defined in the regulations. Appeals should be addressed care of the DTV Converter Box Coupon Program, P.O. Box 2530, Portland, OR 97208-2530.
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The website is run under the supervision of the Department of Commerce and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.
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The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, is the Federal government agency in charge of administering the TV Converter Box Coupon Program. More information on the NTIA can be found at www.ntia.doc.gov.
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To comment on the Coupon Program, you may contact us in writing at the following address:

DTV 2009 Coupon Program Comments
PO BOX 2000
Portland, OR 97208-2000
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  • Private sector - Digital TV transition http://www.dtvtransition.org/ administered by the DTV Transition Coalition
  • Government – Digital TV transition http://www.dtv.gov/ administered by the Federal Communications Commission
  • Retailer participation – http://www.ntiadtv.gov/ administered by NTIA for retailers
  • Consumer electronics industry – Tips for consumers on navigating the digital transition at http://www.digitaltips.org/
  • Broadcasters and consumer electronics industry – Tips for enhancing antenna reception at http://www.antennaweb.org/


  • Standard Terms and Definitions
    A traditional, less-efficient and lower quality system that uses radio frequency (RF) waves to transmit and display pictures and sound.
    Often called an ATSC receiver or HDTV tuner, allows reception of digital television (DTV) signals broadcast over-the-air by TV stations. May be integrated into a television, VCR, digital video recorder, or set-top box.
    The entire range of frequencies used for radio and television transmission.
    Using radio waves to distribute radio or TV programs which are available for reception by the general public.
    Department whose responsibility is to "foster, serve, and promote the Nation's economic development and technological advancement".
    Describes a new, more efficient method of storing, processing and transmitting information through the use of computer code.
    The umbrella term used for the new broadcasting system that uses computer code to transmit pictures and sounds. DTV includes all types of digital broadcasting, including High and Standard Definition television, datacasting and multicasting.
    A stand-alone device that receives and converts digital signals into a format for display on an analog television receiver.
    One type of digital television signal that is broadcast at a higher resolution than the others, providing a higher-quality picture.
    All of the people who occupy a housing unit. A housing unit is a house, an apartment, a mobile home, a group of rooms, or a single room occupied as separate living quarters. Separate living quarters are those in which the occupants live separately from any other people in the building and that have direct access from the outside of the building or through a common hall.
    The ability to transmit multiple standard-definition programs at the same time using a single digital broadcast channel.
    The President's principal adviser on telecommunications and information policy issues.
    A device built-in to a TV that allows reception of analog broadcasting.
    Refers to the transmission and reception of information in a wireless communication system.
    A V-shaped set-top antenna that is adjustable in length and angle.
    Amount of detail that can be seen in a broadcast image.
    An antenna mounted on the roof of a structure.
    A stand-alone device that connects to a television and an external source of signal, turning the signal into content which is then displayed on the television screen.
    The basic digital television format closest in quality to traditional analog TV.


    Nursing Home Application

    The TV Converter Box Coupon Program has reached its funding ceiling. However, coupon requests from eligible households will be filled as funds from expiring coupons become available. If you would like to apply for a coupon today and are eligible, you will be placed on a waiting list and will receive coupons on a first-come-first-served basis as funds from expiring coupons become available.

    Residents of licensed nursing homes, intermediate care facilities, and assisted living facilities are eligible to request coupons from the TV Converter Box Coupon Program.  Residents must use the special Nursing Home application form.

    If you are a resident of a licensed nursing home, intermediate care facility or assisted living facility, you may apply for one coupon using the application on this page. A family member or a representative from the licensed facility may apply for one coupon for a nursing home resident, but the coupon will be mailed directly to the nursing home resident.

    To address the possibility of waste, fraud and abuse, the Coupon Program will be vigilant and will deny applications that appear to be fraudulent. The address of each applicant will be checked against a third-party database to assist in validating eligibility.


    Frequently Asked Questions
    Toggle display
    1.
    A TV translator station rebroadcasts the programs of a full-power TV broadcast station. Translator stations typically serve communities that cannot receive the signals of free over-the-air TV stations because they are too far away from a full-power TV station or because of geography (such as uneven terrain or mountains). Many translator stations operate in mountainous or more remote areas of the country.

    Low-power television (LPTV) stations usually provide a locally-oriented or specialized television service in the communities they serve. These communities may be in rural areas or may be individual communities within larger urban areas.

    For more information on low-power stations please visit www.lptvanswers.com.
    Toggle display
    2.
    If you are watching a full-power station (such as channel 13) but tune your TV to another channel (such as channel 23) to receive it, you are watching a translator. A translator also has its channel number in the middle of its call letters (such as K37ZZ).

    An LPTV station identifies itself on-the-air with the name of its community of license. The call letters of low-power stations usually end in -CA or -LP (for example, WUYX-CA, KQTY-LP), although sometimes the call letters are in the same format as a translator station (such as W37AA).

    For more information on low-power stations please visit www.lptvanswers.com.
    Toggle display
    3.
    Currently there is no requirement for translators and low-power stations to convert to digital. While some LPTV and translator stations will convert to digital by February 17, 2009, others will transition after February 2009, and many will continue to broadcast in analog until required to change by the FCC.

    For more information on low-power stations please visit www.lptvanswers.com.
    Toggle display
    4.
    Click here for a listing of the translators and low-power stations in your state. Find low-power stations by zip code at www.lptvanswers.com.
    Toggle display
    5.
    LPTV stations broadcast a locally-oriented program service, and many will be notifying viewers of their digital conversion plans.

    Because translators rebroadcast the programming of a full-service station, they will broadcast many messages regarding the conversion of the full-power station. These messages may be confusing to viewers if the translator does not also plan to convert to digital by February 17, 2009.

    Check information sources in your local community regarding the digital conversion plans of the translators and/or low-power stations you watch. NTIA will work with translators and LPTV stations to help them inform the public of their digital conversion plans through local newspapers and other media, civic organizations, schools and community groups.

    For more information on low-power stations please visit www.lptvanswers.com.
    Toggle display
    6.
    Review the following options and determine which is best for your household:
    • Keep an analog TV connected to an antenna to view an analog station.
    • Purchase a digital-to-analog converter box which has analog pass-through capability. For an updated listing of coupon eligible approved converters with analog pass-through, click here and look for the boxes with the asterisk (*).

      Analog pass-through allows you to watch analog television stations as well as digital television through the converter box.
    • Purchase a digital-to-analog converter box without analog pass-through, and then add a splitter or A/B switch to receive both analog and digital signals.
    • Purchase a digital television set. All new television sets on the market can receive both analog and digital stations.
    • Subscribe to a local cable television or other pay service which carries the analog station, if any.
    Since many translators and low-power stations will convert to digital after February 17, 2009, you may want to consider applying for TV converter box coupons between now and March 31, 2009, because after that date, coupons will no longer be available.

    For more information on low-power stations please visit www.lptvanswers.com.
    Toggle display
    7.
    For an updated listing of coupon eligible approved converters with analog pass-through, click here and look for the boxes with the asterisk (*).
    Toggle display
    8.
    You should consult your converter box’s instruction manual to determine how to connect the box for viewing analog stations.
    Toggle display
    9.
    You should be able to continue to receive analog stations with your existing antenna. However, because many digital stations will change their broadcast channel (for example, from Ch. 5 to Ch. 25), you may need a new antenna to receive some digital stations.

    If you need a new antenna, the following Consumer Electronics Association website provides information to help you choose an antenna to receive the stations you want: www.antennaweb.org.


    Locate a Converter Box Retailer near you
    Certified converter boxes are available from both national and local retailers. Call ahead to confirm availability of coupon-eligible converter boxes on the day you plan to shop.
    National Retailers
    Converter boxes can be purchased at any of these national retailers currently participating in the program:
    • Best Buy
    • Circuit City
    • Kmart
    • RadioShack
    • Sears
    • Target
    • Wal-Mart
    Locate participating national retailers in your area by completing the form below.
    Online and Telephone Retailers
    Converter boxes can also be purchased online or by telephone and can be shipped directly to your home.

    Online Retailers:

    Telephone Retailers:

    • All American Direct at 1-800-249-1063
    • Best Buy DTV Hotline and Order Center at 1-877-BBY-DTV9 (1-877-229-3889)
    • Circuit City at 888-280-9382
    • DISH Network at 888-638-9912
    • Etronics at 1-800-323-7669
    • Fingerhut at 1-888-301-5606
    • iNet Access at 877-388-7010
    • Online Electronics Liquidation at 800-717-1635
    • RadioShack DTV Telephone Order Center at 1-877-RS-DTV-4U (1-877-773-8848)
    • Satellite Radio Superstore at 800-513-8554
    • Solid Signal at 1-866-3SIGNAL (1-866-374-4625)
    Locate Retailers Near You
    To locate a converter box retailer in your local area, please supply the following information.
    *Items marked with an asterisk are required.
    -
     

    Try your converter box as soon as you get it home to start watching digital television immediately and to troubleshoot potential problems. The web sites below offer help in identifying and solving potential issues. If you are having problems with reception, call your local broadcast station. For general information about the DTV transition, visit www.DTV.gov or call 1-888-CALL-FCC (voice) or 1-888-TELL-FCC (TTY).


    www.dtv.gov - DTV related consumer resources, outreach tools, publications, news, and more can be found here.

    www.digitaltips.org - A valuable resource provided by the Consumer Electronics Association, has a handy "Quick Start Guide" to install a TV Converter Box and other useful tools.

    www.dtvanswers.com - DTV Answers offers more information about television’s switch to digital, including resources to help choose an antenna, converter box details, videos, and more.

    www.ceretailers.org - Visit the Consumer Electronics Retailers Coalition and download a special “Consumer Guide” on the DTV Transition.

    www.dtvtransition.org - Take an online quiz to find out if you are ready for the DTV Transition or access an extensive list of online DTV resources.

    www.getreadyfordigitaltv.com - Useful information and television spots brought to you by the National Cable & Telecommunications Association.

    www.ncta.com - The National Cable & Telecommunications Association website.

    www.lptvanswers.com - A helpful resource on low-power television stations. Find low-power stations in your area and download a guide to low-power issues.


    Coupon Eligible Converter Boxes (CECB)


    NTIA-Approved & Available

    These NTIA-approved CECBs currently are available in retail stores, according to manufacturers and retailers. Consumers should call ahead to retailers to make sure that the boxes are in stock.

    Access HD DTA1020D
    Access HD DTA1020U
    AccessHD DTA1010D
    AccessHD DTA1010U
    AccessHD DTA1020AD *
    AccessHD DTA1030D *
    AccessHD DTA1050D *
    AccessHD DTA1080D *
    AccessHD DTA1080U *
    Airlink101 ATVC102 *
    Airlink101® ATVC101
    ALPHA DIGITAL AT2016
    AMTC AT2001
    Apex DT1001
    APEX DT250 *
    APEX DT502 *
    APEX DTA250A *
    Artec T3A
    Artec T3AP *
    Artec T3AP Pro *
    Artec T3APro
    CADENCE DTVC-9
    CASTi CAX-03 *
    Channel Master CM-7000
    Cleartech CT DCB100A *
    Coby DTV-102 *
    ComponexX CX-900A *
    COSHIP N9900T
    COSHIP N9901T *
    COSHIP N9988T
    CRAIG CVD508 *
    CRAIG Electronics International Ltd. CVD506 *
    DIGITAL STEAM DSP6500C *
    DIGITAL STREAM DSP7500T
    DIGITAL STREAM DSP7700P *
    DIGITAL STREAM DSP7700T *
    DIGITAL STREAM DTX9900
    DIGITAL STREAM DTX9900D
    DIGITAL STREAM DTX9950 *
    DIGITAL STREAM DX8700 *
    Dish Network DISH Network DTVPal Plus *
    DISH Network DTVPal *
    DISH NETWORK TR-40CRA by Dish Network *
    GE 22729
    GE 22730
    GE 23333 *
    GE 23334 *
    Goodmind DTA1000
    Goodmind DTA1100 *
    Gridlink GLT-200
    iNet Access SSR 1921 *
    Insignia NS-DXA1
    Insignia NS-DXA1-APT *
    Kingbox K8V1
    Lasonic LTA-260
    Magnavox TB-100MG9 *
    Magnavox TB100MW9
    Magnavox TB100MW9A *
    Magnavox TB110MW9 *
    Magnavox TB110MW9A *
    MaxMedia LuTRO *
    Memorex MVCB1000 *
    MicroGEM MG2000
    Philco TB100HH9 *
    Philco TB150HH9 *
    RCA DTA 800B
    RCA DTA800B1 *
    RCA DTA809 *
    RCA STB7766G1 *
    Sansonic FT300A
    SPICA AT 2018 *
    SUNKEY SK-801ATSC *
    Tivax STB-T8 *
    Tivax STB-T9
    TRT TACB-1009 *
    VENTURER STB7766G
    Winegard RCDT09A *
    WINEGARD RC-DT09
    Zenith DTT900
    Zenith DTT901 *
    Zentech DF2000
    Zentech EZTV DF2000L *
    Zinwell ZAT-857
    ZINWELL ZAT-950A *
    ZINWELL ZAT-970
    ZINWELL ZAT-970A *

    *The manufacturer has indicated that these models are capable of passing analog signals through to the TV set.


    NTIA-Approved & Not Currently Available

    These NTIA-approved CECBs currently are NOT available in retail stores, according to manufacturers and retailers.

    AccessHD DTA1020AU *
    AccessHD DTA1030U *
    AccessHD DTA1050U *
    AMTC AT-2016
    AMTC AT2001L *
    AMTC AT2015
    AMTC AT2016L *
    Apex DT1002
    APEX DT150
    Apex DT500 *
    APEX DT502A *
    ARENA DT 700 *
    Artec T3AP Pro-LS *
    Artec T3AP-LS *
    AVION ATB 7707
    Carefree CB8877 *
    Carefree CB8899 *
    CASTi CAX-01
    CASTi CAX-02 *
    CHANGHONG ATT888 *
    CLASSIC DTV-2000 *
    Clear Tech CTDCB100
    COMPONEXX CX-900
    CRAIG A4108
    Daewoo DAC-100
    DAYTEK CAX-01
    DAYTEK CAX-03 *
    DENCA NL8118
    DENCA NL8119
    DENCA TBX1005A
    Desay ATSC 8000
    Digital Rising SBTX01A *
    Digital Rising SBTX02 *
    DIGITAL STREAM D2A1D10
    DIGITAL STREAM D2A1D20
    DIGITAL STREAM DSP6500R
    Digital Stream DSP7700A *
    Digital Stream DSP7700C *
    Digital Stream DTX9950F *
    ECHOSTAR TR-40 *
    Fuyai ATSC 630
    Fuyai ATSC 630A *
    GoodMind DTA1100S *
    Goodmind DTA1100B *
    GoodMind DTA1100BS *
    Goodmind DTA1100Y *
    Goodmind DTA900
    Goodmind DTA980
    HOME.TEL RC-HT888L *
    Hualu A5108 *
    iNet Access SSR 2100A
    iNet Access SSR 3909A *
    Jiuzhou DTT6000
    Jiuzhou DTT9001 *
    jWIN Electronic Corp JD-TV1000
    Kingbox K8V8
    Lasonic LTA-611 *
    Lasonic LTA-622 *
    Lasonic LTR-260
    Lasonic LTR-633 *
    Lasonic LTR-635 *
    MAG CCB7707
    Magnavox RTB100MG9     *
    Magnavox RTB100MW9
    Magnavox RTB110MW9 *
    Magnavox RTB110MW9A *
    MaxMedia MMDTVB03
    Microprose MPI-500
    Microprose MPI-500PT *
    Mustek MAT-K50
    OLEVIA DTA100
    Oxford Digital ATS-00101-OUS *
    Philco RTB100HH9     *
    PrimeDTV PHD-096 *
    RCA DTA 800A
    RCA DTA809L *
    Sansonic FT-310A
    Sansonic FT-320A *
    Sansonic PS-600RT *
    Sansonic PS-700SMT *
    Sansonic QS-800CT *
    Skardin DTR-0727
    Skardin DTR-0727L *
    Skardin DTR-0728L *
    Skardin DTR-0729L *
    Solid Signal SSCB20P *
    SUMC LSA-801L *
    Sunkey SK-801ATSCT *
    SVA DAC100
    Sylvania DTA1040D *
    Sylvania DTA1040U *
    Synergy Global Supply SYN2009
    TATUNG TDB3001 *
    TATUNG TDB3000
    TRT TACB-2009
    Tunbow Electronics E60010
    Venturer STB7766B *
    Venturer STB7766C *
    Zinwell ZAT-756A
    ZINWELL ZAT-856
    Zinwell ZAT-950

    *The manufacturer has indicated that these models are capable of passing analog signals through to the TV set.

     
     
         

     











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