Clock Ticks For Analog TVs As Digital Transmission Looms

Monday, March 12th 2007, 9:09 pm
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON (AP) -- (M) millions of T-Vs will be rendered obsolete at midnight on February 17th, 2009, unless owners buy a digital converter box.

The reason: a government mandate for broadcasters to convert their signals from old-style analog to new-style digital.

No one knows how much these boxes, which have yet to be produced, will cost. But the government will help people pay for them, at least until the money runs out.

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration says every household, regardless of whether it needs a box, will be eligible to receive two coupons worth 40 dollars each that can be used to buy two converter boxes. The coupons must be requested
between January first, 2008 and March 31st, 2009.

The massive conversion is designed to make better use of the public airwaves. Digital broadcast signals take up less spectrum.