Federal Communications Commission
(FCC) Commissioner Robert McDowell
recently fielded questions from the public about the DTV transition
in Philadelphia, including this one:
"I thought I lost my converter coupons
I received in the mail, but later found them in my desk drawer at work, the coupons had expired and I was told I could not get replacement, even though I told them I could send back the coupons I received. Is there a way to receive another coupon or am I just out of luck?
Thanks for your help."
McDowell: "Great question. Congress mandated that the coupons expire within 90 days
. So your best recourse is to find a friend, neighbor or relative who does not need a coupon to order one for you and give it to you. Of course, if you don't need the coupon to be able to purchase the box, you can just buy one outright. They cost as little as $40."
Less than 100 days remain before the nation's analog broadcast television system is shut down for good. Thus far, the federal government has mailed nearly 32 million $40 coupons
for the digital-to-analog converter boxes
necessary to keep old TV sets working without cable or satellite. Of that 32 million, nearly a third have expired; 13.5 million have been redeemed, and the rest are floating around or sitting at the bottom of a drawer.
Stations have been doing dry runs for months to get folks prepared for the transition, and one of the most prevalent issues involves reception
. The antennas that pulled in mostly low-VHF channels don't necessarily do the trick for digital signals, many of which will be UHF.
Where will you be when they pull the plug?
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